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Leave No Trace
Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.
Here are seven key principles.
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp On Durable Surfaces
- Pack out what you pack in, and dispose of waste properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Trails and Campsites
Hike on designated trails, put up your tent on the tent pads provided and use a backpacking stove for cooking rather than an open fire. Pay particular attention to what you do in and around your campsite.
Special care must be taken in alpine and sub-alpine areas. These are among the most fragile ecosystems because of the severe conditions and the short growing season. What may seem like a harmless activity can cause long-term damage.
A tent, left in the same spot in an alpine meadow for a number of days will leave a mark on the meadow for everyone to see and could take the plants years to recover. Even a stroll through a flower-filled meadow will cause damage to the plants and soil, which will take weeks or months to recover.
Actions such as digging trenches around tents or lopping off tree boughs for a mattress are no longer acceptable.
Cooking and Cleaning
- Use gas stoves for cooking rather than an open fire.
- Wash your hands before preparing food.
- Any washing activities should take place at least 200 feet from natural water sources. Soap should be phosphate free and biodegradable. Lakes and streams may be a source of drinking water. Help protect the delicate balance of the water system.
- Minimize tooth brushing impact by using salt or baking soda instead of toothpaste.
If there is no outhouse provided, burying your waste in a shallow hole is the best disposal method. The hole should be located at least 200 feet from any water sources, campsites, and trails.
Avoid urinating on plants because animals are attracted to the salty liquid.
If You Pack it in Pack it out
Pack out all toilet paper, tampons and disposable diapers or use a natural wiping alternative such as snow, leaves, or river stones.
Biodegradable scraps such as apple cores and orange peels, which probably won't decompose before the next hiker comes along. Take along a garbage bag and carry out all trash that you generate. Do not bury anything except human waste. The ground will be disturbed by digging and animals will dig up and scatter your buried garbage.