Leave No Trace
Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve
Many of us have taken a pinecone or rock, veered off the trail to dodge mud puddles, gotten too close to wildlife or tossed an apple core into the woods. While these actions may seem harmless, until we learn to reduce our impact, the quality of our outdoor experiences and the recreational resources we enjoy are at risk. Leave No Trace is about respecting and caring for nature, doing your part to protect our limited resources and future recreation opportunities. Once this outdoor ethic is adopted, the specific skills and techniques become second nature.
Plan Ahead and Prepare
Adequate trip planning and preparation helps backcountry travellers accomplish trip goals safely and enjoyably, while minimizing damage to the land. Poor planning often results in miserable campers, and damage to natural and cultural resources.
Choose an activity or a trip that is right for you, your abilities, and the abilities of your group. Be aware of your limits and stay within them. Better still, consider hiring a local guide to help you get there.
Please be aware that you are responsible for your own safety - you must be prepared to handle an emergency on your own. Parks Canada resources are limited and rescues may be delayed due to limited flights and inclement weather. Bad weather can also make flying and boating dangerous. Plan extra days into your trip itinerary to accommodate possible weather delays, and bring extra food just in case!
Be sure to bring the right gear, clothing, communication and safety equipment, bear spray, and a good first aid kit for your trip. Common sense, outdoors skills and knowledge about how to use (or fix) your equipment, is also a must. Visitor safety information is available to help you plan your trip.
There are bugs, and then there are bugs. Be prepared for biting insects. Your location, the time of year and the wind will all play a factor in how bad the bugs are. You may not get a bite, or you may need insect repellent and a bug jacket.
The drinking water may look crystal clean, but it’s a really long ride home if you get beaver fever (Giardia). Bring the equipment you need to treat all of your drinking water.
Contact us for more information about what to expect and what to bring before you visit.
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
Minimize soil compaction and vegetation damage in Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve by hiking and camping on durable surfaces such as rock, gravel, dry grasses, ice or snow. Travel along existing trails, such as animal trails, when possible, to avoid creating new ones.
Good campsites are found, not made! Altering a site to pitch a tent is not necessary. Leave your campsite as pristine as you found it - if you moved rocks to secure your tent, please scatter them before you leave.
Dispose of Waste Properly
If you packed it in, please pack it out. This includes all leftover food and garbage. Littering is illegal in all national parks.
- Human Waste and Hygiene Products
Deposit solid human waste in holes dug 15 to 20 cm deep, and at least 60 m from water, camp, and trails. Cover and disguise the hole when finished. Bury or pack out used toilet paper. If burning toilet paper, only do so in your firebox/fire pit.
- Place tampons and their applicators in plastic bags to be packed out. Do not bury them. They do not decompose readily and animals may dig them up. It will take a very hot, intense fire to burn them completely.
To wash yourself or your dishes, use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Dispose of strained dishwater at least 60 m away from water and your camp.
Minimize Campfire Impacts
Never leave a fire unattended and always put it out before you leave. For campfires please consider using a firebox. Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Keep fires small. In the summer, to practice Leave No Trace, collect sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand. If you need more wood, or are travelling in winter, you can harvest standing deadwood as needed for fires. Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
Observe wildlife from a distance - do not follow, feed or approach them. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters their natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers. Protect wildlife and your rations by storing food and garbage securely. Control dogs at all times, or consider leaving them at home. Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter. Report observations of sick or injured animals, and incidents involving aggressive wildlife to Parks Canada staff or Ni Hat’ni Dene Rangers.
One of the most important components of outdoor ethics is to maintain courtesy toward others. Many people come to the outdoors to listen to nature. Excessive noise, unleashed pets and damaged surroundings take away from everyone's experience. Keep the noise level down so you will not disturb others. Also keep in mind that the feeling of solitude, especially in open areas, is enhanced when group size is small, contacts are infrequent and behavior is unobtrusive.
Other elements of Leave No Trace include Leave What you Find.
For more information visit Leave No Trace Canada.
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