1. Plan Ahead and Prepare 2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces 3. Dispose of Waste Properly 4. Leave What You Find 5. Minimize Campfire Impacts 6. Respect Wildlife 7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors Leave No Trace Principles
Proper trip planning and preparation helps hikers and campers accomplish trip goals safely and enjoyably while minimizing damage to natural and cultural resources. Campers who plan ahead can avoid unexpected situations, and minimize their impact by complying with area regulations such as observing limitations on group size. Schedule your trek to avoid times of high use. Obtain permits or permission to use the area for your trek. 1. Plan Ahead and Prepare ………….. why :
1a. Plan Ahead and Prepare Selecting Appropriate Equipment: Leave these items at home. Bring these items along. Repackage your food: Leave bulky trash at home.
What does proper planning ensure? 1.Low-risk adventures because campers obtained information concerning geography and weather and are prepared accordingly 2.Properly located campsites because campers allotted enough time to reach their destination 3. Appropriate campfires and minimal trash because of careful meal planning and food repackaging and proper equipment 4.Comfortable and fun camping and hiking experiences because the outing matches the skill level of the participants
…and how to do it: Plan Ahead and Prepare 1. Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit. 2. Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies. 3. Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use. 4. Visit in small groups. Split larger parties into groups of 4-6. 5. Repackage food to minimize waste. 6. Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces ………….. why : Damage to land occurs when visitors trample vegetation or communities of organisms beyond recovery. The resulting barren areas develop into undesirable trails, campsites, and soil erosion.
2a. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Rock/gravel Grass Sand Durable Surfaces:
Concentrate Activity, or Spread Out? Stay on designated trails where provided. Spread out and travel on pristine resistant surfaces if you leave trails. Stay on established, resistant sites. Restrict activities to the most highly disturbed areas. Choose a pristine site with resistant surfaces. Disperse activities to avoid impact. In popular areas: In pristine areas:
Concentrate Activity, or Spread Out? In high-use areas, campers should concentrate their activities where vegetation is already absent. Minimize resource damage by using existing trails and selecting designated or existing campsites. Keep campsites small by arranging tents in close proximity. In more remote, less-traveled areas, campers should generally spread out. When hiking, take different paths to avoid creating new trails that cause erosion. When camping, disperse tents and cooking activities—and move camp daily to avoid creating permanent- looking campsites. Avoid places where impacts are just beginning to show. Always choose the most durable surfaces available: rock, gravel, sand, compacted soil, dry grasses, or snow.
…and how to do it: Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow. Protect riparian areas (along or near the bank of a river) by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams. In popular areas: Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites. Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy. Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
3. Dispose of Waste Properly (Pack It In, Pack It Out) ………….. why : This simple yet effective saying motivates backcountry visitors to take their trash home with them. It makes sense to carry out of the backcountry the extra materials taken there by your group or others. Inspect your campsite for trash or spilled foods. Accept the challenge of packing out all trash, leftover food, and litter.
3a. Dispose of Waste Properly (Pack It In, Pack It Out) Strain wastewater and pack out food particles and uneaten food. Carry wash water at least 200 feet from water sources.
Sanitation (Pack It In, Pack It Out) ………….. why : Backcountry users create body waste and wastewater that require proper disposal. Wastewater. Help prevent contamination of natural water sources: After straining food particles, properly dispose of dishwater by dispersing at least 200 feet (about 80 to 100 strides for a youth) from springs, streams, and lakes. Use biodegradable soap 200 feet or more from any water source. Human Waste. Proper human waste disposal helps prevent the spread of disease and exposure to others. Catholes 6 to 8 inches deep in humus and 200 feet from water, trails, and campsites are often the easiest and most practical way to dispose of feces.
Dispose of Waste Properly Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food, and litter. Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6to 8inches deep at least 200 feet from water, camp, and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished. Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. …and how to do it: 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.
How Long Does It Last? Packing out trash is increasingly important as greater numbers of people visit the backcountry. Here are some estimated life expectancies for different kinds of litter: Paper: two to four weeks Rubber boot sole: 50 to 80 years Banana peel: three to five weeks Tin can: 80 to 100 years Wool cap: one year Aluminum can: 200 to 400 years Cigarette butt: two to five years Plastic six-pack holder: 450 years Disposable diaper: 10 to 20 years Glass bottles: Thousands or millions of years Hard plastic container: 20 to 30 years ? How long will our environment last??
4. Leave What You Find ………….. why : Allow others a sense of discovery, and preserve the past. Leave rocks, plants, animals, archaeological artifacts, and other objects as you find them. Examine but do not touch cultural or historical structures and artifacts. It may be illegal to remove artifacts.
4a. Leave What You Find Write on paper, not trees and plants. Leave flowers and plants for others to see.
Minimize Site Alterations Good campsites are found, not made. Avoid altering a site, digging trenches, or building structures. Never hammer nails into trees, hack at trees with hatchets or saws, or damage bark and roots by tying horses to trees for extended periods. Do not dig tent trenches or build lean-tos, tables, or chairs. Replace surface rocks or twigs that you cleared from the campsite. On high-impact sites, clean the area and dismantle inappropriate user-built facilities such as multiple fire rings and log seats or tables.
…things to remember: Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch, cultural or historic structures and artifacts. Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them. Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species. Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches. Leave What You Find
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts ………….. why : Some people would not think of camping without a campfire. Yet the naturalness of many areas has been degraded by overuse of fires and increasing demand for firewood.
5a. Minimize Campfire Impacts Avoid campfire-related impacts by using a stove or firepan. When an existing fire site is not available, build a mound fire or use a fire pan.
Minimize Campfire Impacts …things to remember: Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light. Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires. Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand. Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
6. Respect Wildlife ………….. why : Quick movements and loud noises are stressful to animals. Considerate campers practice these safety methods: Observe wildlife from afar to avoid disturbing them. Give animals a wide berth, especially during breeding, nesting, and birthing seasons. Store food securely and keep garbage and food scraps away from animals so they will not acquire bad habits. Never feed wildlife. Help keep wildlife wild. You are too close if an animal alters its normal activities.
6a. Respect Wildlife Bears that obtain food become “problem bears” that must be relocated or killed. Feeding wildlife destroys their health, alters natural behaviors, and teaches them life-threatening habits. Protect your food by hanging bear bags or use bear-proof food canisters.
Respect Wildlife …things to remember: Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them. Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers. Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely. Control pets at all times, or leave them at home. Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors ………….. why : Thoughtful campers respect other visitors and protects the quality of their experience.
7a. Be Considerate of Other Visitors Which of these groups would you rather see in the backcountry? OR?
Be Considerate of Other Visitors Travel and camp in small groups (no more than the group size prescribed by land managers). Let natures sounds prevail. Keep the noise down and leave radios, tape players and pets at home. Select campsites away from other groups to help preserve their solitude. Always travel and camp quietly to avoid disturbing other visitors. Make sure the colors of clothing and gear blend with the environment. Respect private property and leave gates (open or closed) as found. Be considerate of other campers and respect their privacy. ….and how to do it:
…things to remember: Be Considerate of Other Visitors Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience. Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail. Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock. Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors. Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
Do YOU understand and follow the Leave No Trace principles? Ask yourself: Do YOU plan ahead for all circumstances and go prepared? Do YOU always travel and camp on durable surfaces? Do we know what that means? Do YOU know how to properly dispose of our human waste and wastewater? Do YOU minimize site alterations and leave natural items and artifacts for others to discover? Do YOU minimize your campfire impact? Do YOU only observe wildlife, or do we disturb them with our actions? Are YOU always considerate of other campers?
As long as I'll live, I'll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I'll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I'll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can. —John Muir
We hope you enjoyed this presentation and would like to thank you for your attention!
Leave No Trace From Your Backyard to Your Backcountry