Leave No Trace for Families
1: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Be PREPARED! Bring clothes to protect you from COLD, HEAT, or RAIN. Use MAPS to show you where you’ll be going & so you won’t get lost. LEARN about the areas you visit. Read books & talk to people before you go. The more you know, the more FUN you’ll have.
2: CHOOSE THE RIGHT PATH
Stay on the MAIN TRAIL to protect nature and keep from wandering off by yourself. Steer clear of flowers and small trees. Once hurt, they may not grow back! Use existing camp areas – camp at least 100 BIG STEPS from roads, trails and water.
3: TRASH YOUR TRASH
Pack it in, Pack it out. Put litter, even crumbs, in trash cans or carry it home. Use bathroom or outhouses when available. If you have to “go,” ACT LIKE A CAT and BURY POOP in a small hole 6-8 inches deep and 100 big steps from water. Place your toilet paper in a plastic bag and put the bag in a garbage can back home. KEEP WATER CLEAN. Keep soap, food, and poop out of lakes and streams.
4: LEAVE WHAT YOU FIND
Leave plants, rocks, and historic items AS YOU FIND THEM so the next person can enjoy them. Treat living plants with respect. Hacking or peeling plants can kill them. Good campsites are FOUND, NOT MADE. Avoid digging trenches or building structures in your campsite.
5: BE CAREFUL WITH FIRE
Use a CAMP STOVE for cooking. It’s easier to cook on and clean up than a fire. Be sure it’s OK to build a campfire in the area you’re visiting. Use an EXISTING FIRE RING to protect in the ground from heat. Avoid snapping branches of live, dead, or downed trees. Instead, collect loose STICKS FROM THE GROUND. Burn all wood to ash and be sure that fire is completely OUT & COLD before you leave.
6: RESPECT WILDLIFE
Observe animals from a distance and NEVER APPROACH, FEED OR FOLLOW THEM. Human food is UNHEALTHY for all animals and feeding them starts bad habits. Protect wildlife and your food by storing your meals and trash. CONTROL PETS at all times, or leave them at home.
7: BE KIND TO OTHER VISITORS
Make sure the FUN you have in the outdoors does not bother anyone else. Remember that other visitors are there to enjoy the outdoors. LISTEN TO NATURE. Avoid making loud noises or yelling. You will see more animals if you are quiet.
REMEMBER – YOU’LL ENJOY NATURE EVEN MORE…BY CARING FOR YOUR SPECIAL PLACE.
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© Leave No Trace Center For Outdoor Ethics