What are the principles of Leave No Trace?
These are the golden rules of outdoor recreation. Simply put: Leave the wild places you visit the way you would like to find them. Here are some easy Leave no Trace tips for your next wilderness outing:
Plan ahead and prepare:
- Carry a map and know where you are going to reduce the chance of having to travel off trail.
- Always pack out trash. Repackage food to reduce waste.
- Schedule trips during low-use times and travel in small groups.
Travel and camp on durable surfaces:
- Camp on durable surfaces. These include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
- Protect plant and wildlife habitat by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
- Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
Dispose of waste properly:
- Pack it in, pack it out.
- Do your business in “cat holes” at least 200 feet from water, and cover the hole when done. Or pack it out in a “groover.”
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
Leave what you find:
- That rock or antler looks cooler in the wild than on a shelf at home.
Minimize campfire impacts:
- No raging bonfires. Burn only when essential in established fire rings or using a low-impact mound fire.
- View from a distance.
- Never feed wildlife.
- Control pets so that they don’t harass or scare wildlife.
Be considerate of other visitors:
- Be quiet and let others coming up the trail pass by.