• Responsible Camping

    Responsible Camping

    Used with permission from Tread Lightly.  To view a .PDF of their brochure, click HERE.

    Travel responsibly on designated roads and trails or in permitted areas.
    • While traveling to your favorite camping spot, stay on designated roads and trails.
    • Follow best practices for negotiating terrain for your type of travel.
    • Don’t create new routes or expand existing trails.
    • Cross streams only at fords where the road or trail crosses the stream.
    • Comply with all signs and barriers.
    • Buddy up with two or three campers. Traveling solo can leave you vulnerable if you have an accident or breakdown. 
    Respect the rights of others including private property owners and all recreational trail users, campers and others to allow them to enjoy their recreational activities undisturbed.
    • Be considerate of others on the road, trail, or campground
    • Keep noise to a minimum especially in the early morning and evening hours.
    • Be considerate of other campers’ privacy, keep your distance and avoid traveling through their campsites.
    • Camping supplies in natural colors blend with natural surroundings and are less intrusive to other campers’ experiences.
    • Leave gates as you find them.
    • If crossing private property, be sure to ask permission from the landowner(s).
    • When driving yield to horses, hikers, and bikers.

    Educate yourself by obtaining travel maps and regulations from public agencies, planning for your trip, taking recreation skills classes, and knowing how to use and operate your equipment safely.

    • Obtain a map of your destination and determine which areas are open to your type of travel.
    • Make a realistic plan, and stick to it. Always tell someone of your travel plans.
    • Contact the land manager for area restrictions, closures, and permit requirements. 
    • Check the weather forecast for your destination. Plan clothing, equipment, and supplies accordingly.
    • Carry a compass or a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit and know how to use them.
    • Prepare for the unexpected by packing emergency items.
    Avoid sensitive areas such as meadows, lakeshores, wetlands and streams, unless on designated routes. This protects wildlife habitat and sensitive soils from damage.
    • Other sensitive habitats to avoid unless on designated routes include cryptobiotic soils of the desert, tundra, and seasonal nesting or breeding areas.
    • Avoid disturbing historical, archeological, and paleontological sites
    • Avoid “spooking” livestock and wildlife you encounter and keep your distance.
    • Motorized and mechanized vehicles are not allowed in areas designated Wilderness.
    Do your part by leaving the area better than you found it, properly disposing of waste, minimizing the use of fire, avoiding the spread of invasive species, restoring degraded areas, and joining a local enthusiast organization.
    • Pack out what you pack in.
    • Carry a trash bag and pick up litter left by others.
    • Repackage snacks and food in baggies. This reduces weight and amount of trash to carry out.
    • Whenever possible, use existing campsites.  Camp on durable surfaces and place tents on a non-vegetated area. Do not dig trenches around tents.
    • Camp a least 200 feet from water, trails, and other campsites.
    • For cooking, use a camp stove. They are always preferable to a campfire in terms of impact on the land.
    • Observe all fire restrictions. If you must build a fire use existing fire rings, build a mound fire or use a fire pan.
    • For campfires, use only fallen timber. Gather firewood well away from your camp. Do not cut standing trees.
    • Let your fire burn down to a fine ash. Ensure your fire is completely extinguished.
    • Do not wash in steams and lakes. Detergents, toothpaste and soap harm fish and other aquatic life.
    • Wash 200 feet away from streams and lakes. Scatter gray water so it filters through the soil.
    • In areas without toilets, use a portable latrine if possible and pack out your waste, otherwise it’s necessary to bury your waste. Human waste should be disposed of in a shallow hole (6”-8” deep) at least 200 feet from water sources, campsites, or trails. Cover and disguise the hole with natural materials. It is recommended to pack out your toilet paper. High use areas may have other restrictions so check with a land manager.
    • Following a trip, wash your gear and support vehicle to reduce the spread of invasive species.