Leave No Trace Principles
Plan Ahead and Prepare
Be informed, accept responsibility for your actions, and plan your logistics well.
- Know your skills and abilities.
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
- Select and use proper gear.
- Repackage food to minimize waste.
- Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
Concentrate use in popular areas. Avoid places where impact is just beginning.
- Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, and dry grasses.
- Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
- Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
- Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
Pack It In, Pack It Out-Properly Dispose of What You Can't Pack Out
Dispose of waste properly and reduce litter at the source.
- Properly dispose of human waste, wastewater, and fish remains. Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet from water, camp, and trails.
- Trash and leftover food should be packed out. Food should never be thrown into latrines, water or woods. All these situations could produce wildlife problems and leave the campsite degraded.
- Fishing is one of the many reasons that people come to the BWCA, but fish remains must be taken care of porperly to keep the wilderness beautiful. Dispose of fish remains well away from campsites, trails, and portages. No one wants to see or smell fish remains lying in the water right at the edge of campsites.
Minimize Use & Impact of Fires
Consider alternatives to campfires, such as using a camp stove. If a fire is desired, build a low impact fire.
- Use established fire grates.
- Use dead and downed wood.
- Keep fires small.
- Check for any fire restrictions before entering the wilderness.
Enjoy wildlife at a distance. Minimize noise so everyone has an oppotunity to see wildlife.
- Be aware of the wildlife species around you.
- Be aware of seasonal stresses on wildlife.
- Store food securely against hungry bears.
- Keep a clean camp.
- Keep cooking areas seperate from sleeping areas.
Leave What You Find
Leave areas as you found them to preserve natural features, and help preserve the past.
- Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch, cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
- Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Understand the uniques of the wilderness area and respect the goals of other visitors.
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
- Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
- Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.