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29

The old advice is to "Take nothing but pictures, and leave nothing but footprints". Almost any amount of memento-taking is going to lead to some kind of impact in anything but the most isolated of areas. The details of what is and isn't legal are going to vary with the exact area you're in -in the US, Wilderness Areas, a national forests, Bureau of Land ...


7

Generally in a national part, national monument, or official wilderness area in the US, don't take anything. These areas are managed with preservation being a high or the highest goal. We simply can't have every human on earth take even a small rock. All parts of the environment are connected. No matter how harmless or inconsequential you think some item ...


6

One of my favorite things to collect from National Parks is a stamp for my park passport. There are cancellation stamps in many national parks and sets of full-color stamps you can buy at the gift shop. And please take the other answers to heart. Millions of us enjoy the parks system every year.


5

If it has any scent at all, put it in your bear can. If you're worried about cross-contamination between your trash and your food, bring a trash bag you trust. I keep my food in a plastic bag but my trash in gallon ziplocks. When backpacking, my food and trash are separated only by plastic. By the end of the trip, the trash bag is bigger than the food bag. ...


5

I have a lot of experience with the federal lands, and the rules are pretty much the same between agencies, whether the Bureau of Land Management or the National Park Service or the US Forest Service. The rule is: don't remove anything. There are some serious consequences, even a felony in some cases. You can't take rocks or even pine cones. Or flowers. ...


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 ...


4

Legally the answer is "nothing" in the National Parks of Canada. I think the US is similar. Ethically the best touchstone is the Kantian ethic: What would be the result of everyone doing this? As part of that, examine the renewal time, and the numbers of the thing in question and the number of visitors. E.g. Taking the pine cone unless the pine is ...


4

Animals are attracted to a variety of scents: food, salts, blood, etc. It looks like you've already encountered animal thievery concerning your trash and that should be a good indicator that it would be appropriate to put it inside a bear canister. If you don't want your food to become accidentally contaminated by your trash, another alternative is to ...


1

It's always okay to take away trash! I'm not just being tongue in cheek here. Many US National Parks (and other protected areas) have more latitude for beach-combing; manmade items like sea-glass may be considered trash / non-natural additions and be fair game to remove. Again, you'll want to note the specific regulations for the Park you're in; and of ...


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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