Leaving No Trace: Hiking Tips
Hiking in the fall season can be an amazing experience, watching the changing leaves and seeing all the vibrant colors of autumn up close and personal. The crisp, cool air makes for great hiking weather as well, but it's important to remember to explore the outdoors sustainably in every season.
Practicing Leave No Trace principles ensures that you minimize your impact on the environment and leave the trail as pristine as you found it. Read these tips from our nonprofit partner, Leave No Trace, on how to hike the Leave No Trace way during the fall season:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare:
- Research your trail and the area's regulations, weather, and conditions.
- Check if any permits are required and obtain them in advance.
- Choose well-maintained trails to minimize your impact on fragile ecosystems.
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces:
- Stick to established trails and campsites to avoid trampling vegetation.
- Use established fire rings or stoves for cooking; avoid making new fire pits.
- Dispose of Waste Properly:
- Pack out everything you bring, including trash, food scraps, and litter.
- Leave What You Find:
- Avoid picking plants, disturbing wildlife, or damaging rocks and structures.
- Leave natural and cultural features undisturbed for others to enjoy.
- Respect Wildlife:
- Observe animals from a distance to avoid stressing them.
- Do not feed wildlife; human food can harm their health and alter their natural behavior.
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors:
- Keep noise levels down and yield the trail to others as needed.
- Step aside to allow faster-moving hikers to pass.
- Minimize Use and Impact of Facilities:
- Use restroom facilities if available; follow guidelines for proper waste disposal.
- Educate Yourself and Others:
- Share Leave No Trace principles with fellow hikers and encourage responsible outdoor behavior.
- Set a positive example by practicing good Leave No Trace ethics.
Remember that fall weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared for changing conditions. Dress in layers, bring sufficient water and snacks, and inform friends and family about your hiking plans. By following these Leave No Trace principles, you can enjoy the beauty of the fall season while ensuring that natural areas remain just as breathtaking for future generations.
Learn more about leaving no trace outdoors on Leave No Trace's website www.lnt.org