Mother Lode Field Office

Leave No Trace

PLAN AHEAD AND PREPARE

  • Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
  • Visit the backcountry in small groups.
  • Avoid popular areas during times of high use.
  • Choose equipment and clothing in subdued colors.
  • Repackage food into reusable containers.

CAMP AND TRAVEL ON DURABLE SURFACES

ON THE TRAIL

  • Stay on designated trails. Walk single file in the middle of the path.
  • Do not shortcut switchbacks.
  • When traveling cross-country, choose the most durable surfaces available: rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
  • Use a map and compass to elimate the need for rock cairns, tree scars and ribbons.
  • Step to the downhill side of the trail and talk softly when encountering pack stock.

AT CAMP

  • Choose an established, legal site that will not be damaged by your stay.
  • Restrict activities to the area where vegetation is compacted or absent.
  • Keep pollutants out of water sources by camping at least 200 feet (70 adult steps) from lakes and streams.

PACK IT IN, PACK IT OUT

  • Pack everything that you bring into wild country back out with you.
  • Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations securely.
  • Pick up all spilled foods.

PROPERLY DISPOSE OF WHAT YOU CAN'T PACK OUT

  • Deposit human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet from water, camp or trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
  • Use toilet paper or wipes sparingly. Pack them out in plastic bags.
  • To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes, and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter dish water after removing all food particles.
  • Inspect your campsite for trash and evidence of your stay. Pack out all trash:yours and others'

LEAVE WHAT YOU FIND

  • Treat our natural heritage with respect. Leave plants, rock, and historical artifacts as you find them.
  • Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site should not be necessary.
  • Let nature's sounds prevail. Keep loud voices and noises to a minimum.
  • Control pets at all times. Remove dog feces from trails or camping areas.
  • Do not build structures or furniture or dig trenches.

MINIMIZE USE AND IMPACT OF FIRES

  • Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Always carry a lightweight stove for cooking. Enjoy a candle lantern instead of a fire.
  • Where fires are permitted , use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires. Do not scar large rocks or overhangs.
  • Gather sticks, no larger than an adult's wrist from the ground.
  • Do not snap branches off live, dead or downed trees.
  • Put out campfires completely.
  • Remove all unburned trash from fire ring, and scatter the cool ashes over a large area well away from camp.

ENJOY AMERICA'S WILD COUNTRY AND LEAVE NO TRACE