From the article on OregonLive by Marc Mohan:
For the second time this year, a powerful novel by a Portland-area author has become an acclaimed independent film focused on characters at the margins of society.
…Assisting with the actors’ wilderness training was Portland native Nicole Apelian, a survival expert who spent two months living off the land on Vancouver Island during Season 2 of the History Channel show “Alone.”
It may have been easier to shoot “Leave No Trace” outside Oregon, and it may well have been cheaper. But directors like Granik (and Haigh, of “Lean On Pete”) understand the value of a sense of place, a particular vibe that no studio or digital trickery can replicate, at least yet.