Outdoor Safety & Ethics

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace

Minimum-impact use is a hands-on, practical approach to caring about both the land and others who share its richness. Its success hinges on the willingness of the individual user to learn, to think, and then to commit knowledge to action. You can demonstrate your commitment to our national forest by following these simple guidelines:

  • LIMIT THE SIZE OF YOUR GROUP. Large parties disturb other visitors' solitude and cause greater impacts to trails and campsites.
  • PACK IT IN--PACK IT OUT!!! Take out all of your garbage, along with anyone else's you might find along the way. Remember- aluminum foil and plastic don't burn!  Please take them with you.
  • USE AN ESTABLISHED CAMPSITE in high use areas, OR--
  • WHEN CAMPING IN MORE REMOTE AREAS, select a site on resilient ground, at least 100 feet from lakes, streams and trails, to reduce your impact and increase your privacy. Naturalize your campsite when you leave.
  • USE A BACKPACKING STOVE for cooking. Stoves are cleaner, more convenient and don't scar the landscape as campfires do. In Mt. Adams Wilderness, fires are prohibited above 6,000 feet elevation.
  • EVEN "BIODEGRADABLE" SOAP POLLUTES cold high country water. Collect water in a pot and wash yourself and cooking gear at least 200 feet from water sources.
  • DISPOSE OF SOLID HUMAN WASTE by burying it 6-8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from lakes, streams or trails. Carry plastic ziplock bag to pack out used toilet paper. On Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens climbing routes, pack out all solid wastes.

To learn more, visit the Leave No Trace Organization web site.