We highly encourage all hikers to closely follow the Leave No Trace principles, a set of guidelines designed to minimize the environmental impact of outdoor activities. The name sums up the intent of the guidelines– enjoy nature in such a way that you leave no trace of your presence. “Take only photos, leave only footprints.”
Plan Ahead and Prepare:
- Minimize packaging waste and bring along trash bags.
- Plan a realistic route for your group, allowing plenty of time and energy to find a suitable camping place.
- Keep your group size small or split a larger group into two.
Travel and Camp on Durable Surface:
- Walk only on established paths to avoid causing erosion.
- Camp in designated areas without disturbing flora and fauna.
Dispose of Waste Properly:
- Pack out everything that you pack in.
- Carry a trash bag and deposit all trash in proper receptacles, including organic waste (orange peels, egg shells, etc.)
- Go at least 60 m (200 ft) away from water, camp site and trails to urinate or defecate.
- Dig a hole 15-20 cm (6-8 in) deep to dispose of solid human waste.
- Throw used toilet paper in a trash bag to pack out or bury it, do not throw on the ground or burn.
Minimize Campfire Impact:
- We do not advice using campfires at all on the Jesus Trail, due to dryness of the region and lack of adequate firewood. Devastating forest fires have been caused by hiker campfires.
- Use a camping stove for food preparation.
- Don’t feed or approach wild animals.
- Store food and garbage securely, so that animals do not get into trash and eat things that are damaging to their health.
Leave Anything You Find:
- Respect history– do not damage or remove pieces of historical structures.
- Do not take or move rocks, plants or other natural objects.
- Do not build, dig, stack or otherwise mutilate the natural surroundings.
Be Considerate of Other Visitors:
- Keep your voice down so the sounds of nature prevail for the enjoyment of others.
- Respect other people using trails and facilities.
- Be kind and polite to locals as you walk through their towns and near their properties. Remember that you are a guest, and treat locals as your generous hosts!
This copyrighted information has been adapted and reprinted with permission from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org