Meant to be viewed as guidelines for those
who care about the land, Leave No Trace principles were developed in
cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of
Land Management, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Seven Principles
- Plan Ahead and Prepare. Know the terrain and any
regulations applicable to the area you're planning to visit, and be
prepared for extreme weather or other emergencies. This will enhance
your enjoyment and ensure that you've chosen an appropriate destination.
Small groups have less impact on resources and the experience of other
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces. Travel and
camp on established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses, or
snow. Good campsites are found, not made. Camp at least 200 feet from
lakes and streams, and focus activities on areas where vegetation is
absent. In pristine areas, disperse use to prevent the creation of
campsites and trails.
- Dispose of Waste Properly. Pack it in, pack it out.
Inspect your camp for trash or food scraps. Deposit solid human
waste in catholes dug six to eight inches, at least 200 feet from water,
camp and trails. Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. To wash
yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes
and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained
- Leave What You Find.Cultural or historic artifacts,
as well as natural objects such as plants or rocks, should be left as
- Minimize Campfire Impacts. Cook on a stove. Use
established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires. If a campfire is
built, keep it small and use dead sticks found on the
- Respect Wildlife. Observe wildlife from a distance.
Feeding wildlife alters their natural behavior. Protect wildlife from
your food by storing rations and trash securely.
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors. Be courteous,
respect the quality of other visitors backcountry experience, and let
nature's sounds prevail.
To learn more about these principles, take a Master Educator course.
View our current
course schedule to register for a course in the White Mountains of New
Hampshire or in other locations throughout the northeast. For more
information about the Leave No Trace principles and the national Leave No