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By engaging in winter sports (where there is significant snow on the ground) you are already greatly reducing your impact. The biggest impacts to back-country areas from non-motorized recreation come from vegetation disturbance: boots grinding up plants and breaking topsoil, tents compressing vegetation, camp activity destroying vegetation, fire scars, etc. ...


4

You have heard both answers because both are right depending on the area and ecosystem. Established trails: If there is an established trail going where you need to go, you should stay on it. Even to the point that in a mucky area stay in the tread, rather than create a new trail beside it which might be dry for a while, but will eventually become a new ...


2

There is one often forgotten thing in skiing that can be harmful. The waxes. The racing ones contain a lot of fluorocarbons that can stay in the environment for ages. The pure racing fluorocarbons (mostly powders) are dangerous even to people applying them and special masks should be worn (see). Consider using just pure hydrocarbon waxes or other waxes ...


1

You say you go to wild places to get away from trails, but that is actually the root problem. One purpose of trails is to funnel all the human use to narrow areas to minimize the overall damage. Lots of places have policies that you need to stay on the trail for this reason. This is especially important in high use or fragile areas. Examples of the ...



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