Plan & Prepare

Leave No Trace – Outdoor Ethics

We’re proud supporters of Leave No Trace (LNT), a global non-profit dedicated to protecting our precious natural environments. Together, GOES and Leave No Trace help you explore the great outdoors safely and sustainably.

Plan Ahead & Prepare

  • Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you’ll visit. 
  • Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
  • Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
  • Visit in small groups. Split larger parties into smaller groups.
  • Repackage food to minimize waste. 
  • Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of rock cairns, flagging or marking paint. 

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

  • Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow. 
  • Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes, streams.
  • Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.

In popular areas

  • Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
  • Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy. 
  • Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent. 

In pristine areas

  • Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails. 
  • Avoid places where impacts are just beginning. 

Dispose of Waste Properly

  • Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food, and litter. Burning trash is never recommended. 
  • Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet from water, camp, and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished. 
  • Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. 
  • To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater. 

Leave What You Find

  • Preserve the past: observe, but do not touch, cultural or historic structures and artifacts. 
  • Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them. 
  • Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
  • Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches. 

Minimize Campfire Impacts

  • Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the environment. Use a light-weight 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. Use only sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand. 
  • Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes. 

Respect Wildlife

  • Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them. 
  • Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
  • Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely. 
  • Control pets at all times, or leave them at home. 
  • Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter. 

Be Considerate of Others

  • Respect others and protect the quality of their experience.
  • Be courteous. Yield to others users on the trail. 
  • Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock. 
  • Take breaks and camp aware from trails and other visitors.
  • Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.