SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF
“LEAVE NO TRACE”
(otherwise known as LOW IMPACT USE)
1. BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS—Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
2. LEAVE WHAT YOU FIND—Plants, flowers, animals, rocks, pottery shards and other natural and cultural treasures need to stay where you find them.
3. RESPECT WILDLIFE—THIS IS THEIR HOME—Watch wildlife from a distance. Never approach, feed or follow a wild animal.
4. DISPOSE OF WASTE PROPERLY—Pack out what you bring into the forest. If you see trash left by others, pick it up too. Dispose of human waste responsibly—bury it six inches deep at least 200 feet from water and trails. Use toilet paper sparingly, and bury it deep or pack it out. Cigarette butts and orange peels are trash too!
5. TRAVEL AND CAMP ON DURABLE SURFACES—Creating new trails destroys the fragile vegetation and soil. If you must travel off-trail, choose rock, gravel or sand surfaces.
6. MINIMIZE CAMPFIRE IMPACTS—When camping, a stove is better than a fire. Trees and shrubs grow slowly. Minimizing campfires keeps the area more natural, the air cleaner and the risk of wildfires to a minimum.
7. PLAN AHEAD AND PREPARE—Check with a Forest Service visitor center for updates and information. Use maps and be prepared for extreme weather, hazards and emergencies.
Watch this video:
Further Reading (Optional)
So why is Leave No Trace important? Here’s an excellent article that explains the impact of disregarding LNT ethics in Arizona. Be sure to drill in to each principle for a more detailed explanation on why you should care about LNT and how you can fully implement the principles in your backcountry use.