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The 7 Principles of Leave No Trace: Winter Recreation

From Leave No Trace

Stewardship Tuesday, January 3, 2023

1. Plan Ahead and Prepare

Know the area and what to expect- check avalanche and weather reports prior to departure, consult maps and local authorities about high danger areas, safety information, and regulations. Monitor snow conditions frequently and prepare for extreme weather, hazards and emergencies. Carry and learn how to use an avalanche beacon, probe and shovel, and leave your itinerary with family or friends before heading out. Use a map and compass to eliminate the need for tree markings, rock cairns or flagging.

2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

Stick to trails and stay on deep snow cover whenever possible. In muddy spring conditions stay on snow or walk in the middle of the trail to avoid creating new trails and damaging trailside plants. Travel and camp away from avalanche paths, cornices, steep slopes and unstable snow. Choose a camp site on a durable surface- snow, rock, or mineral soil- not tundra or other fragile vegetation and 200 feet from lakes and streams. Too much snow to tell if you are near a water source? Consult your map!

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