More and more people are taking to trails, rivers and byways to discover America. On foot or horseback, on mountain bikes or by boat, there are vast expanses to be explored on federal, state and privately owned lands. This increased use is not without problems, however. Many popular areas are now crowded and show signs of damage to vegetation, soil, water, and wildlife habitat.
We seek these areas for solitude, adventure, or a “wilderness experience”-to get away from the crowds, noise and daily pressures of urban life. In order to protect and maintain the health of these areas for the future, we must use them with care. This booklet describes techniques you can use to reduce the evidence of your visit and minimize disturbance to the local ecology. By utilizing these LEAVE NO TRACE guide lines, you can enjoy natural areas and preserve their beauty-and the freedom and solitude they offer.
There are six basic LEAVE NO TRACE Principles you should keep in mind wherever you travel. They will help you protect the land and enjoy your surroundings, whether you’re visiting a small picnic area or a vast wilderness. They are:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Camp and Travel on Durable Surfaces
- Pack It In, Pack It Out
- Properly Dispose of What You Can’t Pack Out
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Use and Impact Of Fires