7 Principles of Leave No Trace

As stewards of nature we have a responsibility to restore and protect our environment and ecosystem. We need to be aware that our presence in nature, a national or state park, wildlands, backcountry, even a local park, has an impact on plants and animals in that area. One of the simplest ways to pro-actively protect our nature is following the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace.

Plan ahead and prepare

  • Know where you are going
  • Learn about any restrictions and regulations
  • Check weather and terrain

Travel and camp on durable surfaces

  • Hike on existing trails
  • If hiking off-trail, avoid stepping on vegetation, living soil, and desert puddles and mud poles
  • Keep your campsite small and camp on durable surface avoiding vegetation and living soil

Dispose of waste properly

  • Pack it in. Pack it out. Leave nothing behind, including toilet paper and hygiene products.
  • Utilize toilet facilities whenever possible
  • If no toilet facility available, dig a 6-8 inches deep cat hole, when finished cover with original dirt and disguise with native material

Leave what you find

  • Only leave footprints, only take photos
  • Do not touch cultural or historic artifacts
  • Leave rocks, plants, and other natural objects as you find them

Minimize campfire impacts

  • Be aware of local fire danger and fire restrictions
  • Build a fire is within an existing fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires
  • Keep the fire small
  • Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires with water, not dirt as dirt may not completely extinguish the fire

Respect wildlife

  • Quietly observe wildlife and do not disturb them
  • Never feed wildlife
  • Protect wildlife by storing your food correctly and taking out all trash

Be considerate of other visitors

  • Respect other visitors and be courteous
  • Yield to other users on the trail
  • Avoid loud voices and noises

Enjoy our nature & help protect it.

Leave No Trace Seven Principles ©1999 by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org