In today’s digitally-minded, technologically advanced world, the irresistible need to get out of the home, office or city is something…
No littering, and lift if you are on the road, on-site camping, etc.., Disposed of in the right place. If in our country there is the possibility of dividing the garbage for recycling (in organic, paper, glass, plastics and packaging, etc..) Separate it into different bags to do so right there if I could, or around our output.
Particularly toxic waste and should never be discarded in nature are the batteries, even as they may contain heavy metals that pollute nearby waterways or groundwater in addition to the land. On the other hand, we know that, for example, activities such as hunting and its associated waste (ammunition bullets or lead shot), cause high mortality among birds then eat plants grown in soil contaminated with the heavy metal.
The use of campfires in the backcountry was once a necessity and is now steeped in history and tradition. This tradition is so entrenched in our minds that for some the thought of going on a backcountry camping trip and not having a fire is almost unthinkable. Yet the natural appearance of many areas has been compromised by the overuse of fires and the ever-increasing demand for firewood. The development of versatile and efficient campstoves has facilitated a shift away from the traditional fire, making them essential equipment for minimum-impact camping. Stoves are fast and flexible, and they eliminate firewood availability as a concern in campsite selection. If you typically depend on fires as a light source, consider using a light-weight candle lantern as an alternative. The most important factors in determining whether or not to have a fire are:
Pristine areas are typically remote, seldom visited and have few obvious impacts. Visit pristine areas only if you are committed to and knowledgeable in the techniques required to Leave No Trace in that particular area. Rocky places with shallow soils, sandy areas, low heath balds, cliffs, bogs and wetlands often harbor residual populations of endangered plants and animals in the Southeast. Avoid travel through these areas altogether.
Hike in small groups. The impacts associated with cross country travel are minimized when group size is small, routes are carefully selected to avoid fragile terrain and critical wildlife habitat, and special care is taken to avoid disturbance. If you are traveling with a large group, hike in groups of no more than 4-6 people.
Camp organization and cleanliness take on heightened significance in bear country. The primary concern here is safety, both for the visitor and the bear. Although black bears are shy and usually prefer to stay away from people, a bear can be a very dangerous animal if provoked or habituated to humans. Personal safety is the first priority, but safety of the bear is also a concern. Once habituated to people-usually because it associates people with food-it can rapidly become a “problem” bear and will have to be dealt with accordingly, ultimately at the expense of its life.
Where bears are present, carefully follow the practices listed below. If a bear encounter occurs, it should be reported to the appropriate wildlife agency or land management office.
Selecting a Leave No Trace fire site.
At established sites, use existing fire rings. These help concentrate the impact associated with fires and keep surrounding areas in more natural condition. Constructing new rock rings for campfires or building fires against boulders or ledges is inappropriate as it blackens rocks and disturbs underlying soils. If you choose to have a fire where there are no existing fire rings, you must take the extra responsibility to learn and practice stringent Leave No Trace techniques, such as those outlined below.
Campfire impacts are among the most common and obvious recreational impacts in wildlands. In backcountry areas of the Northeast, campfires are generally discouraged, and in any of the region’s alpine zones, fires should never be built. Backcountry visitors should always carry the appropriate equipment for warmth, shelter and light, and a lightweight campstove for all cooking needs.
This recommendation against a once-traditional part of back country camping is due to ecological and aesthetic problems at recreation sites caused by overuse and abuse of fires and wood supplies. Because of these cumulative impacts, some land managers and owners have prohibited the use of campfires. Others allow their use in designated sites, or by permit only.
People come to wildlands to enjoy them in their natural state. Allow others the same sense of discovery by leaving plants, rocks, historic, cultural and archaeological artifacts as you find them. We all have a responsibility to anticipate and reduce our social impact upon others and to be considerate towards the wildland environment and its animal inhabitants.
Minimize site alterations. Consider the idea that good campsites are found and not made. Leave the area in as good or even a more natural condition than you found it. Do not construct lean-tos, tables, chairs or other rudimentary improvements. If these sorts of amenities are desired, carry a lightweight camp chair or plan your overnight stays at sites with tent plat forms, shelters or huts. If you find excessive or inappropriate fire rings, log benches or tables, etc. in campsites, it is generally appropriate to clean up and/or dismantle them. If in doubt, consult the managing agency or landowner before acting.
Most campsites can recover completely from a limited amount of use. However, a threshold is eventually reached where the ability of vegetation to regenerate cannot keep pace with the amount of trampling it receives. Once this threshold is reached, continued use will cause the site to deteriorate rapidly. This will result in the development of an established campsite with discernible bare ground, or “barren core.”
Though the Northeast’s forests are very productive and vegetation seems vigorous and plentiful, damage to plants due to backcountry recreation is a widespread and increasing problem. Select routes that avoid fragile terrain, critical wildlife habitat or any area where signs of your passage will invite others to follow. Campsites in pristine areas that are used for too many nights during a growing season-generally as little as five to ten days per year-or that receive heavy use over a short period of time are very susceptible to severe and long term vegetation damage. All alpine areas are considered fragile because of susceptibility to trampling, slow recovery from impact, and the large number of hikers that visit them. Stick to trails in the alpine zone. If you must leave the trail, walk on exposed rocks. Areas of wet soils are also considered fragile. On ground that is saturated either year round-marshy or boggy areas-or by heavy rains, restrict off-trail travel to exposed rocks, sandy soils, or find alternate routes. Broad-leafed plants and low-growing shrubs, common in alpine areas and the forest floor, are also fragile. Choose routes that avoid these vegetation types.