Leave No Trace Ethics
Plan Ahead and Prepare:
- Poor planning and unexpected situations lead to high-impact, last minute solutions which degrade the great outdoors. Plan to make as little impact as you can.
- Get information about your trip, and route of travel, from land managers.
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you plan to visit, purchase a map.
- Repackage food into reusable and lightweight containers.
- Proper planning and preparation will reduce impacts on the ground.
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces:
- People cause excess damage to the land when trampling vegetation beyond repair. This results in soil erosion as well as unusable trails and campsites.
- In high use areas walk or ride on established trails when possible.
- Prevent erosion, trail widening and/or multiple trails from forming by using existing tread, please don’t cut switchbacks.
- In remote areas prevent the development of trails by traveling cross-country.
- Choose campsites that are well drained, in dry grass, exposed bedrock, duffy or sandy ground.
Dispose of Waste Properly:
- No one wants to see garbage in the Wilderness, spoiling its natural beauty. Human waste and grey water should be properly disposed.
- Bury human waste in catholes 4-8″ deep at least 200 feet from water, camp, and trails.
- Cover and disguise the cathole. Do not leave toilet paper on the ground.
- Bathe and wash at least 200 feet from all water sources. Use only small amounts of biodegradable soap.
- Scatter dishwater away from lakes and streams after all food particles have been removed.
- If you pack it in, pack it out. Please take your trash out with you.
Leave What You Find:
- Try to minimize site alterations, such as digging trenches, hammering nails into trees, permanently clearing an area of rocks or twigs, or removing items.
- Allow others a sense of discovery by leaving rocks, plants, and archaeological artifacts where you find them.
- Avoid damaging live trees by hammering nails into trees or hacking at them.
Minimize Campfire Impact:
- Many amazing areas have been degraded from the overuse of campfires, Leave No Trace ethics promote low-impact fires.
- A good campsite is found, not made. Use existing campsites in high use areas that are at least 100 feet from lakes, streams, or trails.
- In very remote areas, spread activities out (tents, kitchen, etc.), move camp often.
- Camp at least 100 feet away from watering holes, lakes and - if possible - streams.
- Minimize your impact on wildlife and ecosystems.
- In high-use areas bury fish entrails in a cathole, away from campsites.
- If fishing, even for just the day, clean fish at home.
- In remote areas fish entrails can be spread widely, out of sight.
- If you are a hunter, field dress game animals well away from trails, water, and campsites.
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors.
- Traveling in the backcountry quietly is respectful to others trying to enjoy the area.
- When passing a large group or pack string please step a few yards off the trail.
- If your traveling with dogs please be mindful of them at all times.