Listed below are the seven basic principles of “Leave no Trace” along with the SKGABC’s best practices for each principle.

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The BC Marine Trail Code of Conduct is another important best practices resource developed for BC and includes elements for respectful visitation on First Nations Territories, wildlife, and invasive species.

1. Plan Ahead and Prepare

  • Reduce the amount of potential garbage. Plan meal quantities carefully, package food in reusable containers and use leftovers for snacks or lunches.
  • Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you are working in.
  • Have an emergency and contingency plan in place for your trip area.

2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

  • Set up campsites on durable surfaces. Avoid critical wildlife habitats, obvious animal trails and fragile terrain.
  • Avoid digging trenches around tents whenever possible. Choose well drained or high ground for tent sites.
  • Watch where you walk: use established trails to avoid trampling vegetation.
  • Select launch sites carefully to avoid trampling inter-tidal life.
  • Tread carefully while exploring the inter-tidal zone and return all rocks, shells, and creatures to their original location.
  • Be aware of first nation sites. Do not disturb middens, fish weirs, culturally modified trees, etc.

3. Dispose of Waste Properly

  • Human Waste:

    • Use established vault and pit toilets where they exist.
    • Pack out human wastes whenever feasible (i.e. boom box).
    • If no privy is available and packing out human waste is not feasible, use the inter-tidal zone. Choose a site that is not used by shellfish harvesters and which naturally "flushes" (i.e. wave pounded headland or shoreline rather than an enclosed cove or bay), away from campsites and at least 100 m from running
      fresh water. Dig a shallow hole about 6 inches deep and cover it after use. Try washing with salt water as an alternative to toilet paper, otherwise all toilet paper must be burned or packed out. Carry Ziploc bags and/or brown paper bags to conceal contents for used toilet paper or feminine hygiene products.
    • All feminine hygiene products must be completely burned or packed out.
    • Urinate in the inter-tidal zone and away from known tent sites.
  • Waste Water:

    • Use biodegradable soap.
    • Drain waste water from cooking into the ocean.
    • Wash dishes at the ocean’s edge or dump waste water into the ocean at water’s edge.
    • Brush teeth at the ocean’s edge and spit into the water.

      Food Waste and Garbage:
    • Food waste must be packed out, or completely burned where appropriate.
    • As your kayaks become emptier begin to fill them up with litter on the beaches that you can bring back
      with you and recycle.
    • Separate clean recyclables from garbage and deal with these appropriately after the trip.
  • Camping:

    • Leave campsites as clean as or cleaner than when you arrived.
    • Remove all ropes, line and twine from trees.

4. Leave What You Find

  • Leave what you find. Do not disturb natural features.
  • Within Parks, do not collect natural objects. Elsewhere, discourage collecting natural objects.
  • Dismantle any structures that you have built before moving camp.
  • Do not drive nails or spikes into trees.
  • Do not remove or handle cultural objects.

5. Minimize Campfire Impacts

  • Respect fire bans
  • Fires must be a safe distance from drift logs and vegetation.
  • Fires must be small enough to put out quickly and completely
  • Build your fire below the high tide line or in designated fire rings or previously well established fire pits.
  • Avoid building fires near the canopy of overhanging trees and in sandy areas with evidence of large tree, shrub or bush root systems.
  • Fuel should consist of driftwood found on beaches below the high tide line and be small enough to burn down completely to ashes.
  • Once the fire has been extinguished, all signs of the fire should be obliterated.
  • Do not construct a ring of rocks around fires as it scars the rocks, disturbs habitat, and can split from heat and become a safety hazard.
  • If appropriate, dismantle any fire pits you may find.
  • Crush any charcoal and then remove all charred remains by scattering it in the ocean.

6. Respect Wildlife

  • Do not feed wildlife.
  • Be aware and knowledgeable of sensitive wildlife sites (breeding areas, nesting sites, haul out sites) and do not approach these sites in order to minimized disturbance.
  • Without compromising group safety keep appropriate distances between your group and wildlife and conduct ourselves in a manner that does not disturb or alter wildlife's natural behavior. Avoid interrupting an animal's ability to rest, feed, reproduce and end for young. Disturbances can cause wildlife to expend more energy than they otherwise would.
  • Discourage wolves, cougars or bears from approaching campsites.
  • Use binoculars and telephoto lenses to observe and photograph wildlife.
  • Store food securely in hatches when not in Bear Country, or hang it appropriately when you are in Bear Country and camping in an area of known bear travel or activity.
  • Keep others informed about sites where problematic interactions between wildlife and people have occurred.

7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

  • Keep groups small and contained in one area. Maintain group size within Parks Canada and SKGABC regulations and guidelines.
  • Keep noise levels at a minimum at campsites, on trails and on the water.
  • Co-operate and communicate in a friendly manner with other groups and individuals
  • While launching and landing on a beach, groups should remain tight and not taking up the entire beach so that others can use the waters edge.
  • Store gear neatly when on shore, i.e. keep a tidy site.
  • Keep others informed about sites where problematic interactions between wildlife and people have occurred.