Plan Ahead and Prepare
-Know the area and what to expect; ALWAYS check avalanche and weather reports prior to
departure. Consult maps and local authorities about high danger areas, safety information,
regulations for the area you plan to visit.
-Prepare for extreme weather, hazards and emergencies.
-Monitor snow conditions frequently. Carry and use an avalanche beacon, probe and
Educate yourself by taking a winter back country travel course.
-Visit the back country in small groups, but never alone. Leave your itinerary with family or
-Repackage food into reusable containers.
-Use a map and compass to eliminate the need for tree markings, rock cairns or flagging.
Travel and Camp on Safe, Durable Surfaces
On the trail
-Stay on deep snow cover whenever possible; in muddy spring conditions, stay on snow or
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 site on durable surfaces- snow, rock or mineral soil- not tundra or other fragile
-Camp at a safe, stable site out of view of heavily-traveled routes and trails.
-Keep pollutants out of water sources by camping at least 200 feet (70 adult steps) from
recognizable lakes and streams- consult your map.
Dispose of Waste Properly
-Pack It In, Pack It Out. Pack out everything you bring with you. Burying trash and litter in
snow or ground is unacceptable.
-Pick up all food scraps, wax shavings and pieces of litter. Pack out all trash: yours and
-Pack out solid human waste. In lieu of packing it out, cover and disguise human waste
snow away from travel routes and at least 200 feet (70 adult steps) from water sources.
-Use toilet paper or wipes sparingly. Pack them out.
-If necessary, use small amounts of biodegradable soaps for dishes. Strain dishwater into
-Inspect your campsite for trash and evidence of your stay. Dismantle all snow shelters,
wind breaks. Naturalize the area before you leave.
Leave What You Find
-Leave all plants, rocks, animals and historical or cultural artifacts as you find them.
-Let nature’s sounds prevail. Keep loud voices and noises to a minimum.
Minimize Campfire Impacts
-Campfires cause lasting impacts in the back country. Always carry a lightweight camp
-Use dead downed wood if you can find it. Put out all fires completely. Widely scatter cool
-Do not cut or break limbs off live, dead or downed trees.