If you are a fan of hiking or climbing, you have probably heard the term “Leave no trace.”
So what does “Leave no trace” mean? What are the principles that it includes? In case you are still confused with these questions, this article is definitely for you. We will provide information about “Leave no trace” at Baxter State Park in today’s post. Let’s find out now!
General Information About “Leave No Trace.”
“Leave No Trace” (or LNT in short) is a concept used for outdoor activities. It means when you leave a place that you already visited, let the area still look good and even better than before you came.
Doing so requires you to have skills, backcountry ethics, and the ability to decide. We all benefit if everyone does something, even simple things.
“Leave no trace” brings many benefits to humans and the environment. For example, the water source will be cleaner. There will be less impact of campfires and confrontation with wildlife. Also, it will reduce the loss of historical and cultural artifacts.
Besides, “Leave No Trace” can and should be a part of all outdoor travel activities. It is very natural to promote good cooperation. From regulators to outdoor equipment manufacturers, from NGOs to travel service providers, from local government agencies to individuals, Leave No Trace is a sample. Common sense leads all towards one goal of responsible outdoor activities.
Seven Rules of “Leave No Trace” At Baxter State Park
Understanding the meaning and benefits of “Leave no trace” is not enough. To become professional hikers and bikers, you should read the rules below carefully before taking a trip to Baxter State Park.
Rule # 1: Make a plan and get everything ready!
This first rule is very significant and easy to apply. You can remember and follow it right away once you read it.
No matter where you decide to go, it is essential to find out carefully the information about the place. Especially if you want to take a trip to Baxter State Park, it’s never superfluous to read the park’s terrain, weather information, regulations, and rules.
Also, prepare the correct items and clothes. Baxter State Park encourages tourists to have flashlights and spare batteries available. Unfortunately, if you are stuck in a dark place, you will have a light to use.
Besides, you can also bring some additional items that you find necessary. But be careful not to get too much as they will make you tired during the long haul. And sometimes they even keep you occupied. So please consider carefully.
Rule # 2: Select durable surfaces when traveling and camping
You will probably wonder what durable surfaces are. Very simple. Surfaces such as gravel surface trail and similar surfaces are called durable surfaces.
Besides, you must be very aware that Baxter State Park only allows visitors to camp in certain places. Not anywhere you can camp. So read the rules and regulations of this area carefully.
When the path is wet or muddy, you should also walk in the middle of the trail. Avoid walking on the plants there. Baxter State Park encourages visitors to protect the fragile plants in the park and their habitats.
Also, you may not expand the road to create a short route or create a new one. In case you need to leave the trail (for whatever reason), please rock hop.
Moreover, it is necessary to keep the areas in the park natural. Please do not leave the piles of flagged rocks or light a fire and leave ashes.
Rule # 3: Dispose of the wastes properly.
Baxter State Park applies the principle of “Bring in – Bring Out.” So you must pack all waste and leftover food and throw it in the designated place.
Keep these trash sealed to protect your health and wildlife in the park. Because if you do not keep the garbage, the animals will be straightforward to access them. In case you cannot wrap them up, please take them to your car and then dispose of them properly.
Also, it is essential to know how to use the outhouses properly. Note that outhouses contain only toilet paper and human waste. You must pack the sanitary products into bags. Please ask the rangers for help if you do not have any bags available.
In case there are no outhouses below the treeline, you can do as follows:
First, pack human waste and bury it in a pit about 6-8 inches deep. This hole must be 200 meters away from the water source and the trail. Next, pack the toilet paper and bury it with human waste. Lastly, cover the hole.
If you are above the treeline, you must rock-hop off the trail. It is best to be 200 meters away from the water source. Dispose of human waste on rocks without digging holes. Then pack waste and toilet paper. Do not urinate on plants. Choose rocks and gravel away from trails and water sources.
Bathe and wash dishes away from water at least 200 meters. Ensure you do not use any soap (even bio soap) in any water source. Strain the dish soap through a sieve or towel and pack any leftovers in a trash bag. Dispense the filtered dish detergent 200 meters away from the water source.
Rule # 4: Leave What You Find
Under Baxter State Park’s policy, visitors must leave everything they find in the park, including plants, stones, or historical and cultural artifacts, after they go. That way, the next guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the objects.
Visitors are responsible for preserving the natural environment in the park. Any act such as peeling birch trees, building structures, or carving objects is considered a violation of park regulations.
Avoid introducing or transporting animals from elsewhere into the park. Clean tent, boots, and boats before entering the park.
In short, it is a must to leave everything you have found on your hike at the end of your trip. Even though you remarkably like the object you saw, you have a responsibility to follow the park’s rules. Be a professional visitor!
Rule # 5: Minimize the effects of a campfire
Please note that you can only fire and use the stove in areas located in campsites specified by Baxter State Park. Fires are dangerous and can burn everything in the park if the breakdown unfortunately happens. If you are stubborn to fire, no one can know the consequences.
Also, visitors are responsible for protecting the habitat of the park’s animals. Do not peel or break trees (no matter if they are alive or dead).
Remember to burn all the wood and coal to ashes. That way, you can eliminate the campfire. For items that cannot be wholly burned (e.g., tin foil cigarette butts or leftovers), please repack them.
Again, fire is hazardous. As an excellent visitor, you should carefully consider where and when to fire based on the park’s instructions.
Rule # 6: Respect for the wildlife
The first thing you should note is to observe animals from afar. Do not get close to them, especially when they mate in their nest or winter when the survival is very harsh.
Another note is not to feed wild animals any food you bring because human food is unsuitable and harmful for their health. Letting them go wild will help their survival.
Also, do not bring pets into the park. That will ensure the safety of both your pets and wildlife. We understand that pets are like your friends or family members. However, taking them with you is not an excellent idea for your hike.
Rule # 7: Be attentive and respectful of other travelers.
Baxter State Park encourages visitors to respect others. That way, you can keep both your trip and theirs successful.
Please be polite. It is not kind to shout out at others if a problem happens. Patiently talk to each other to solve the issue. Also, try to say hello to the people you meet on the road if possible. That will make everyone happy, and you may make a new friend.
Step away from the downhill sides of the trail when you encounter a convoy of wagons—no need to hurry. Just rest and slow down, and you can enjoy the surroundings better.
One more thing you should note is to let the sounds of nature prevail. Please avoid making noise to have chances to enjoy the wildlife. Again, please be a professional visitor.
In conclusion, “Leave no trace” is what hikers and climbers should learn before taking their trip. Also, LNT is essential because it is crucial in making the trip successful. We believe that everyone wants their journey to be incredible and memorable. Therefore, learning the rules mentioned above is never in excess.
We hope the article is helpful and wish you a perfect experience at Baxter State Park. If you have any questions about LNT, please comment below. We will reply to you as soon as possible.