Submitted by Slim Woodruff 2/24/2017
Leave no Trace is a system of ethics regarding the use and protection of public lands. It is a system of ethics, because often one may follow rules only when there is a possibility of getting caught. Ethics are what one does when no one is watching. There are seven principles of Leave No Trace.
Plan ahead and prepare.
Make sure of the regulations wherever trek. Don’t go without a permit if required.
Travel and Camp on Durable surfaces
Stay on the trail when hiking. Don’t create your own short cuts.
Be aware that the newly-cut creek beds that might be unstable in places. Respect warning signs. Climbing cliffs and rocks presents injury hazrads.
Dispose of waste properly.
Simply put, this means carry it out. If you can carry it in full, you can carry it out empty. Do not toss it by the trail. Do not leave it at a campsite.
If some of your equipment breaks or tears, carry it out. If clothing or shoes get too dirty to ever use again, carry them out.
Soap does not go in the water, period! Not biodegradable, not hemp soap, not natural, hand-crafted by Buddhist monks soap. Biodegradable soap is designed to be dumped on the ground, not in the water. That is suppose to be 200ft from any water source. Would you like to drink water with soap in it? Soap affects not only fish and other aquatic wildlife, but the microbiological systems in the water.
Leftover food must be carried out. Animals will eat it, yes, but that trains them to become dependent on humans and thus pests. Conditioning the critters to damage tents, packs, and other gear while they attempt to search for a easy meal. Buried food will be dug up.
Use the outhouses when available. WAG bags when not. Do not use cat holes.
Hanging food from trees is a good idea, but take down the ropes when finished. This could be a hazard to birds or to climbing animals.
Leave what you find (Anything that is natural).
No collecting rocks, flowers, or any artifacts. You may, however, pick up as much trash as you wish.
Minimize campfire impact.
Never ever leave a fire left unattended. Make sure it is totally out cold, when you leave.
Do not feed the animals or leave leftover food. If you bring a dog keep it on a leash as needed or required.
Be Considerate of other visitors.
Not everyone wants to hear your boom box or your external speakers. Some hikers take to their bed sooner than you so as to get an early start on the trail hiking out.