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Leave No Trace
A back-country guide


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Leave No Trace

The following backcountry travel tips are based on principles developed by the national "Leave No Trace" program.

Plan Ahead and Prepare: Design your trip to match your skill level. Carry adequate and appropriate clothing, food, equipment, and fuel. Check with rangers for current conditions.

Camp and Travel on Durable Surfaces: In high use areas, concentrate activity within established campsites and trails where additional use causes little additional impact. Avoid making parallel trails, cutting switchbacks, or widening trails. In remote areas, travel in groups of no more than six people. Hike and camp on surfaces such as rock, sand, gravel, and snow.

Pack It In, Pack It Out: Repackage food to save weight and space and minimize potential litter. Pack out all trash, including food waste, as animals can become accustomed to and dependent on unnatural food sources.

Properly Dispose of What You Can't Pack Out: Dispose of human waste properly. Use vault and compost toilets where available. In backcountry areas, dig a "cathole" 4-6 inches deep in organic soil at least 200 ft from water, trails, and camp. Urinate on rock or bare soil. Waste water from dishwashing, cooking bathing, or laundry should be scattered at least 200 feet from camps and water sources.

Leave What You Find: Do not alter campsites by trenching tents or building walls, tables, or lean-tos; dismantle excessive user-built facilities such as multiple fire rings. Avoid damaging live trees and plants. Leave flowers, natural objects such as antlers and fossils, and cultural artifacts for others to enjoy.

Minimize Use and Impact of Fires: Use campstoves instead of fires whenever possible. Collect fuel from a wide area far from camp. Know current regulations and weather concerns. Do not leave until all coals are cool enough to hold.

For more details, contact LNT at 1-800-332-4100 or visit their website at http://www.lnt.org

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