Leave No Trace Principles

Plan Ahead and Prepare

Adequate trip planning and preparation helps backcountry travelers accomplish trip goals safely and enjoyably, while simultaneously minimizing damage to the land.

Pre-Trip Planning

Poor planning often results in miserable campers and damage to natural and cultural resources. Rangers often tell stories of campers they have encountered who, because of poor planning and unexpected conditions, degrade backcountry resources and put themselves at risk.

Why is Trip Planning Important?

You may want to create additional answers for this list:

 Landscape

Seven Elements to Consider When Planning a Trip

  1. Identify and record the goals (expectations) of your trip.
  2. Identify the skill and ability of trip participants.
  3. Select destinations that match your goals, skills, and abilities
  4. Gain knowledge of the area you plan to visit from land managers, maps, and literature.
  5. Choose equipment and clothing for comfort, safety, and Leave No Trace qualities.
  6. Plan trip activities to match your goals, skills, and abilities.
  7. Evaluate your trip upon return note changes you will make next time.

Other Elements to Consider:

Meal Planning

Meals are another element to trip planning that can have a profound effect on the impact a group has on a backcountry area.

Benefits of Good Meal Planning:

One-Pot Meals and Food Repackaging:

What are Some Examples of the Results of Poor Trip Planning?