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374 LNT - Be Considerate of Other Visitors 2011-04-11

Inspiration Point

During good weather, visitors flock to the Parks in droves. Most visitors stay near the trailheads. They get out of their cars and try to experience all that they can with as little of effort as is possible. The land managers accommodate these masses by hardening or paving the trails so that it is even easier for them to travel the short distance to their destinations. To this group of users, they are visiting a foreign land. They basically think they are still in the city and usually act that way!

A small percentage of users are not just tourists and want to venture deeper into the woods. As long as the destination is on a good trail, they will walk there. These visitors are experienced hikers. With their knowledge comes more responsibility. They naturally try to follow the Leave No Trace Principles.

Still a smaller group of users are those who go backcountry. They are looking for an off trail route, an isolated climb, or the perfect stream. These are experienced adventurers. They know and practice the Leave No Trace Principles. They can travel without disturbing their surroundings.

With three different classes of users, there are also three zones of use. When users from the tourist zone venture away from their paved paths - that is when Leave No Trace Principles are tested.

The final Leave No Trace Principle is To Be Considerate of Other Visitors. Perhaps this is the most important of the Principles because all of the other Principles are covered by it's vast umbrella. If you are considerate of other visitors you will be following the other Principles.

A few Be Considerate to Other Visitors tips ...

Keep the noise down. Do not yell, hoot, etc. Music does not belong in the woods.

Vehicles near the trails should also keep the music confined to the vehicles' interiors.

Please keep loud cars and motorcycles away from the parks. One amazing story, from the summit of Grand Teton, we could hear vehicles from the valley floor! It was disgusting!

Keep group sizes small. Most trails cannot accommodate groups larger than 5 or 6. Most land managers have posted the groups size. It differs from area to area; but 12 is the largest I have ever seen. The further away from the trailhead the group is traveling, the more important it is that the group adheres to the limits or even smaller.

For larger groups, break into smaller traveling groups. Keep the groups out of sight of one another or even better, go to different destinations.

Control pets. In most areas, dogs are required to be on a leash at all times. In National Parks, dogs are not even allowed off the roads.

It is hard to walk a dog in the woods on a leash. That is why we think so many people let their dogs run free. Practice walking the dog on the trail before actually taking them anywhere. It is a lot of extra work.

If possible, plan your visit in non-peak, less crowded times. Even if you are the best LNT follower, another user is still another user.

If you want to be a cowboy, go to the rodeo. There are few times when horseplay is appropriate. There are few places where a rescue is just an ambulance call away.

Wear natural colors. Avoid the yellow construction colors unless you are directing traffic.

Choose natural colors for equipment.

If you go through a gate, close it.

Follow the other Principles!

Happy Be Considerate to Other Visitors trails


Leave No Trace


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