Hiking Ethics and Safety
Stay on the trail, and never shortcut switch backs. This causes erosion and damages the trail and trail environment.
Follow the leave no trace ethic and leave your campsite and trail cleaner than you found it. Carry out all litter. Never discard cigarette butts, candy or gum wrappers on forest floor.
Look at and photograph, but never pick or collect. Travel quietly. Walk softly. Donít kick up dirt and stones or trample vegetation.
Don't use soap in streams. Wash yourself, utensils, and clothes away from all water sources.
Bury human waste and toilet paper. Where privies are not available dig a hole at least six inches deep and cover afterward. Do this at least 100 yards from any water source or camping area.
Treat water with iodine tablets or boil or filter before drinking to ensure safety.
Animals frequent camping areas. Never leave food in your tent; If you are staying overnight, hang food at least 10 feet above the ground.
Use camp stoves for cooking, and only downed wood for camp fires. Keep the camp fires small. Never leave fires unattended and always extinguish them with water. Be very careful with any fires.
Plan Ahead For Your Hike
Create a No-Trace Campsite
- Avoid holidays and weekends.
- Limit your group size to six or less.
- Repackage food to reduce containers.
- Take along a litter bag to carry out refuse.
- Carry a stove and choose foods that require little cooking.
- Buy gear only in subdued forest colors (exception in hunting season).
- Check at the ranger station for low-use areas.
- Avoid popular areas.
- Know your route and allow sufficient time for your trip.
- Tell someone your hiking plans.
- Do not over extend your abilities.
- Dress appropriately. Be prepared for sudden and extreme weather changes.
- Hike with a friend.
- Carry sufficient water, food and first aid supplies.
- Enjoy your hike.
Leave A No-Trace Campsite
- Camp at least 100 feet from water sources and beauty spots
- Select a site invisible from the trail and any other camping parties
- Avoid using existing camp sites that are obviously over-camped
- Never cut standing trees and vegetation or pull up plants
- Wear light-weight, soft-sole shoes around camp
- Avoid building camp fires, or make only small fires in safe places
- Never wash dirty dishes, clothes, or yourself directly in a stream or spring
- Use biodegradable soap and dispose of waste water at least 100 feet away from a water supply
- Never dig hipholes or trenches
- Bury human waste 6 inches deep, at least 100 feet from water
- Stay as quiet as possible. Leave radios, dogs and tape/cd players at home
- Pick up all traces of litter
- Extinguish your campfire and erase all evidence of it
- Replace and scatter all materials, such as twigs and branches, cleared for sleeping areas
- Pack out all garbage
- Make sure camp looks as good or better than when you got there