backcountry-hiking

Concentrate Impacts in High-Use Areas

Concentrating use in popular or high-use areas is a simple and effective method to reduce the impact of a backcountry visit. Main travel corridors and popular destinations usually have well-established trails and campsites. Continued use causes little additional impact to these features although overcrowding diminishes the overall experience for some. Respect other visitors’ need for […]

hiking group

Wildland Ethics – Spread Use and Impact in Pristine Areas

Pristine areas are typically remote, seldom visited and have few obvious impacts. Visit pristine areas only if you are committed to and knowledgeable in the techniques required to Leave No Trace in that particular area. Rocky places with shallow soils, sandy areas, low heath balds, cliffs, bogs and wetlands often harbor residual populations of endangered […]

camping

Camp organization and cleanliness

Camp organization and cleanliness take on heightened significance in bear country. The primary concern here is safety, both for the visitor and the bear. Although black bears are shy and usually prefer to stay away from people, a bear can be a very dangerous animal if provoked or habituated to humans. Personal safety is the […]

camp-fire

Minimize Use and Impact of Fires Part 2

Selecting a Leave No Trace fire site. At established sites, use existing fire rings. These help concentrate the impact associated with fires and keep surrounding areas in more natural condition. Constructing new rock rings for campfires or building fires against boulders or ledges is inappropriate as it blackens rocks and disturbs underlying soils. If you […]

use-of-fire

Minimize Use and Impact of Fires

Campfire impacts are among the most common and obvious recreational impacts in wildlands. In backcountry areas of the Northeast, campfires are generally discouraged, and in any of the region’s alpine zones, fires should never be built. Backcountry visitors should always carry the appropriate equipment for warmth, shelter and light, and a lightweight campstove for all […]

outdoor-visitors

Reduce your impact on other visitors

Reduce your impact on other visitors. Being friendly and outgoing toward other hikers and campers is a natural trait of backcountry visitors, but every visitor has a desired level of socialization or solitude. Around shelters or designated camp sites, share news of the day’s events with other groups, and enjoy the camaraderie fostered by a […]

bear-country

Leave natural and cultural artifacts

Leave natural and cultural artifacts. Natural objects of beauty or interest, such as antlers or mineral crystals, should be left alone for others to discover and enjoy. In national parks and some other areas it is illegal to remove natural objects, or to do so without a permit. Archaeological, cultural and historic artifacts preserve an […]

campsite

Leave What You Find

People come to wildlands to enjoy them in their natural state. Allow others the same sense of discovery by leaving plants, rocks, historic, cultural and archaeological artifacts as you find them. We all have a responsibility to anticipate and reduce our social impact upon others and to be considerate towards the wildland environment and its […]

avoid-places

Avoid Places Where Impact is Just Beginning

Most campsites can recover completely from a limited amount of use. However, a threshold is eventually reached where the ability of vegetation to regenerate cannot keep pace with the amount of trampling it receives. Once this threshold is reached, continued use will cause the site to deteriorate rapidly. This will result in the development of […]

frigal-areas

Avoid fragile areas

Though the Northeast’s forests are very productive and vegetation seems vigorous and plentiful, damage to plants due to backcountry recreation is a widespread and increasing problem. Select routes that avoid fragile terrain, critical wildlife habitat or any area where signs of your passage will invite others to follow. Campsites in pristine areas that are used […]