For the purposes of this policy, all privately or publicly owned backcountry and
designated wildernesses are to be considered "wilderness." The Outdoor Code of
the Boy Scouts of America applies to outdoor behavior generally, but for treks into
wilderness, Leave No Trace camping methods must be used. Within the outdoor program of the
Boy Scouts of America, there are many different camping-skill levels. Camping practices
that are appropriate for day outings, long-term Scout camp, or short-term unit camping do
not apply to wilderness areas. Wherever they go, Scouts and Venturers must adopt attitudes
and patterns of behavior that respect the rights of others, including future generations,
to enjoy the outdoors.
In wildernesses, it is crucial to minimize our impact on particularly fragile
ecosystems such as mountains, lakes, streams, deserts, and seashores. Since our
recreational use varies from one season of the year to the next, we must adjust to these
changing conditions as well, to avoid damaging the environment.
The Boy Scouts of America emphasizes these practices for all troops, crews, and ships
planning to use the wilderness:
* Contact the landowner or land-managing agency (Forest Service, National Park
Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state agency, private
landowner, etc.) well in advance of the outing to learn the regulations for that area and
to obtain required permits and current maps.
* Always obtain a tour permit, available through local council service centers.
Meet all conditions specified and carry the permit on the trip.
* Participate in Leave No Trace training for adult leaders, or be proficient and
experienced in the leadership and skills required for treks into the wilderness.
* Match the ruggedness of high-ad369unixmentor-20 experiences to the skills, physical
ability, and maturity of those taking part. Save more rugged treks for older youth members
who are more proficient and experienced in outdoor skills.
* For your group, conduct pretrip training that stresses proper wilderness
behavior, rules, and skills for all of the conditions that may be encountered.
* Use backpacking stoves, particularly where the fuel supply is limited or open
fires are restricted. An adult knowledgeable in the use of the stove(s) must supervise. If
a fire is necessary, keep it as small as possible and use established fire lays where
available in safe areas. After use, erase all signs.
* Emphasize the need for minimizing impact on the land through proper camping
practices, and for preserving the solitude and quiet of remote areas. Camp at low-use
areas; avoid popular sites that show signs of heavy use.
* Leave dogs, radios, and cassette or CD players at home.
* Use plastic (not metal or glass) food containers that are lightweight and
reusable. Carry out unburnable trash of your own and any left by others.
* Dig catholes for latrines and locate them at least 200 feet from any source of
* Wash clothes, dishes, and bodies at least 200 feet from any source of natural
* Where a choice is available, select equipment in earth-tone colors that blend
with natural surroundings.
* Look at and photograph; never pick or collect.
* Follow trail switchbacks and stay on established trails.
* Treat wildlife with respect and take precautions to avoid dangerous encounters
with wildlife. Leave snakes, bears, ground squirrels, and other wildlife alone.
* On a canoeing trip, carry canoes into the foliage on shore so they will not be
visible to other outdoor users.
* Respect the quest of others to enjoy the solitude and silence of the
* Demonstrate respect by taking care of the outdoors. Land stewardship is
everyone's responsibility. Do your part to leave wild America for future generations.