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Fly Fishing Blog

Pack It In, Pack It Out

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Pack it in, Pack it out

One of the many reason why we fly fish is to enjoy the outdoors. It really does take us to some remarkable places of pure beauty.

It deeply saddens my heart to see trash, debris, and graffiti when I happen along a place. I really don’t understand they “why” behind leaving trash behind in a place that you sought out to go to because of its beauty and lack of human footprint.

“Leave no trace behind” has some great guidelines, seven principles in fact. I’ve summarized them below. I would encourage everyone to have a look and set a positive example for your peers and your children.

I’ve made it a habit to pack a trash bag. Every trip I go out, I pack out a trash bag of someone else’s trash. It’s a small thing, and certainly not earth shattering or world changing. However, small things can turn out to be big things.

I’m not trying to be preachy here either. I personally have an apathy for people and companies that get on a soap box and pontificate about what you should be doing in their opinion. No, I’m simply asking for your help. Whatever you can do to keep our wild spaces beautiful, is always appreciated. It is never wrong to do the right thing.

Leave No Trace Behind:

Plan Ahead and Prepare

  • Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
  • Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
  • Repackage food to minimize waste.
  • Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.

  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
  • Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.

  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
  • To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.

  • Leave What You Find
  • Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
  • Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
  • Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.

  • Minimize Campfire Impacts
  • Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
  • Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.

  • Respect Wildlife
  • Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
  • Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.

  • Be Considerate of Other Visitors
  • Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
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