As you venture out to camp this summer, keep in mind some tips for respecting the Great Outdoors.
- Stay on the right paths. Get established trail maps from the visitor center before you settle in. Cutting switchbacks tramples vegetation and leads to soil erosion.
- Minimize your impact on your campsite. Select a site that has already been used, to eliminate further expansion of the camp. And leave the campsite in as natural a state as possible.
- Follow the Golden Rule for camping and hiking. “Take nothing but pictures; leave nothing but footprints.”
- Choose the right equipment. Heavy, lug-soled boots can destroy fragile terrain. Consider wearing a pair of light boots or well-cushioned running shoes whenever it is safe and conditions permit.
- Don’t litter. Pick up litter that you find. Carry out or burn all of your own garbage.
- Wash yourself, your dishes and your clothes at least 100 feet away from rivers, streams, lakes, or ponds. When using any soap to wash or brushing your teeth, do it away from natural water sources and pour it into highly absorbent ground.
- Make note of fire danger and follow the rule. Check to make sure fires are permitted when camping. If you are permitted to build a fire, keep it small. Use only dead wood you find already on the ground, and at the end of the night, make sure your ashes are cool. Seek a park ranger’s advice if you have any concerns or problems with building your fire.