Responsible trekking is about enjoying the great outdoors while minimising our impact on the natural environment. The Leave No Trace principles provide a framework for making decisions that preserve the wilderness for future generations. Here’s how trekkers can adhere to these principles and practice responsible trekking.

Plan Ahead and Prepare
– Research your destination and be aware of the regulations and special concerns for the area you’ll visit.
– Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies. Repackage food to minimise waste.

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
– Stick to established trails and campsites. Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
– Camp at least 200 feet from lakes and streams to protect riparian areas.

Dispose of Waste Properly
– Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods.
– Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp, and trails.

Leave What You Find
– 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.

Minimise Campfire Impact
– Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
– Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires. Keep fires small and only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.

Respect Wildlife
– Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
– Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviours, and exposes them to predators.

Be Considerate of Other Visitors
– Respect other trail users and protect the quality of their experience.
– Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail and take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.

Practising the Leave No Trace principles is a sign of a responsible trekker who values the natural world and wishes to preserve its beauty and integrity. By making mindful decisions and teaching others to do the same, we can ensure that the wilderness remains a place of wonder and enjoyment for all.

Embarking on a multi-day trek offers the unique opportunity to connect with nature and challenge oneself. Adopting responsible trekking practices based on the Leave No Trace principles ensures that this connection remains respectful and sustainable, allowing the natural environment to flourish and continue inspiring trekkers for generations to come.