How to be a Low-impact Ninja in the Woods
PLAN AHEAD AND PREPARE
- Plan your trip to avoid high-use weekends during the spring and summer months, especially during holidays.
- Weekday trips during the off-season offer the best opportunity for increased solitude and wildlife viewing opportunities.
- Anyplace outside the High Peaks Wilderness will be less crowded.
- Places To Go: West- Region 6, East – Region 5, Maps
- Hikes Outside the Adirondack High Peaks
- DEC Campgrounds and Rules
- Accessible Recreation – John Dillon Park
- Hiking Safety, Camping and Hiking Rules, High Peaks Info
- Paddling and Boating
- Adirondack Snow Conditions and Resources
- Fill out a Trip Planner (PDF) to aid Search and Rescue in the event of a problem.
TRAVEL AND CAMP ON DURABLE SURFACES
- Don’t trample vegetation, especially sensitive high elevation plants.
- Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy. (video)
- Stay off steep, high elevation trails during the spring mud season.
- Use existing or designated campsites whenever possible.
- Primitive Camping Information (Backcountry) (video)
DISPOSE OF WASTE PROPERLY
- Use pit privies provided near popular camping areas and trailheads. If none are available, dispose of human waste by digging a hole 6″-8″ deep at least 150 feet from water or campsites. Cover with leaves and soil. (video)
- Do not use soap to wash yourself, clothing or dishes within 150 ft of water.
- Carry out what you carry in.
LEAVE WHAT YOU FIND
- Minimize campsite alterations and avoid damaging live trees and plants.
- It is illegal to remove plants, rocks, fossils or artifacts from state land.
- Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species
- Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program
- Firewood and Invasive Insects (Firewood Restriction Area Maps)
MINIMIZE CAMPFIRE IMPACTS
- Special Campfire Rules for High Peaks Wilderness Zone
- Fire Safety When Camping
- New York State Fire Danger Map
- Bear Resistant Canisters
- If You Care . . . Leave Them There!
- Why Feeding Wildlife Does More Harm than Good
BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHER VISITORS
- Go beyond the Golden Rule when considering your impact on other users.
- Travel and camp in small groups quietly.
- Don’t be a summit hog when other folks also want to enjoy.
- Pets must be under control at all times, special rules may apply (video)
- Report an Environmental Problem
Taking it another step
- Practice, demonstrate, and share the things you have learned.
- Embrace minimalism, efficiency, and a low-impact lifestyle
- Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose whenever possible
- Consider the larger impact of food, equipment, and clothing choices
- Minimize waste, Reduce energy consumption
- Contribute to conserving and restoring the places you love
Hike Smart NY
Leave No Trace – Wikipedia
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles
Ethics & Low Impact Camping
Negative Trace – Going Beyond Leave No Trace
NYSDEC Hiking, Camping and Paddling Resources