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Ian Clarke : Leave No Trace : Outdoor Ethics

Updated: Jan 24, 2019


1. Plan Ahead and Prepare

  • Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.

  • Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.

  • Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.

  • Visit in small groups. Split larger parties into groups of 4-6.

  • Repackage food to minimize waste.

  • Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.

2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

  • Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.

  • Protect riparian areas by camping at least 70 meters from lakes and streams.

  • Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.

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.

In pristine areas:

  • Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.

  • Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.

3. 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 15 to 20 centimetres deep at least 70 meters from water, camp, and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.

  • Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.

  • To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 70 meters away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.


4. Leave What You Find

  • Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch, cultural or historic structures and artefacts.

  • 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.

5. Minimize Campfire Impacts

  • 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, and then scatter cool ashes.

6. Respect Wildlife

  • Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.

  • Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviours, 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 Others

  • 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

#LeaveNoTrace #EXP52 #IanClarke #Camping #Environment

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