Protect your public lands when backpacking

four people with backpacking standing on overlook

Review the information below to learn how to protect your favorite trails, forests, parks and prairies while backpacking.

Before
Visiting remote areas requires extra responsibility. Your visit can have a big effect if you are not responsible. Before leaving home, check all your gear to make sure it is free of seeds and soil. Check the inside and outside of tents or hammocks for seeds and mud. Clean and dispose of anything you find before leaving home.
During
When backpacking, you often are in secluded areas and you have more of an impact on the environment. Stay on the trail and avoid muddy spots. Wandering off trail will increase your chances of picking up seeds, or mud that can carry seeds.
After
Check your gear and vehicles for any vegetation, soil, or seeds. Clean off anything you find. Don’t bring invasive species home. If you find some tricky mud or seeds and need to remove them at home, make sure you properly dispose of the seeds.