Behaving Responsibly in the Woods

 According to Webster's Dictionary, the word ETHICS relates to a set of moral principles.  Those things you do when no one is looking.  Outdoor ethics are principles for our behavior in the outdoors.  Whether backpacking deep in the backcountry or camping in a campground, these principles help us to minimize our impact to the environment. 

Outdoor ethics is based on the idea that we are all stewards of the environment and should provide careful and responsible management of our great outdoors so that this generation and those to come can enjoy it.  Many of these principles also help us to have a more enjoyable and safer trip.

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace LogoLeave No Trace is an outdoor land use ethic.  Following Leave No Trace, helps you minimize your impacts on the outdoor environment and will help you to understand how your actions can impact the land and other users of the forest.    

Following these 7 principles of Leave No Trace will help you have a more enjoyable trip:

  1. Plan ahead and prepare
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildfire
  7. Be considerate of other visitors


Want to become an expert in Leave No Trace, check out this website for training courses


Tread Lightly!

Tread Lightly LogoTread Lightly! is a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote responsible outdoor recreation through ethics education and stewardship programs.  Following the 5 principles of Tread Lightly!--along with the 7 principles of Leave No Trace, will make you a well-rounded responsible visitor to the great outdoors:

  1. Travel responsibly
  2. Respect the rights of others
  3. Educate yourself
  4. Avoid sensitive areas
  5. Do your part

Click here to learn about how to Tread Lightly! while enjoying your favorite activity on National Forest lands.  Think you know it all?  Take the Tread Lightly 101 course by clicking here