Leave No Trace
Wilderness Ethics

Plan Ahead & 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 & 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.

Properly Dispose of Waste

  • 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 Behind

  • 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.

Respect Wildlife

  • 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.