HIKING IN MADRID: THE LEAVE NO TRACE SEVEN PRINCIPLES
In 2013, Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range in Madrid region was declared National Park. The fifth largest in Spain's national parks system.
The project aims to protect the eleven different ecosystems present in the Guadarrama mountains, including the only Iberian examples of "high Mediterranean mountain". Altogether there are more than 1,280 different species in the zone recently declared a national park, of which 13 are in danger of extinction, more than 1,500 native plants and 30 different types of vegetation. The species of animals in the mountains represent 45% of the total fauna of Spain and 18% of European fauna. The vegetation features the Scots pine, the oak, the juniper, the oak and piorno and many other species. As regards fauna, there are many mammals such as deer (red, roe and fallow), wild boar, wild goats, badgers, several mustelidaes, wild cats, foxes, hares, etc.; many species of waterfowl in the reservoirs, and great raptors like the Spanish imperial eagle or the Eurasian black vulture. Recently, a pack of wolves was discovered in the park after a 70-year absence in the region.
There are countless trails and paths for hiking in Madrid to discover the beauty natural landscapes through the National park.
For these reasons we must protect and respect the wilderness of Sierra de Guadarrama in Madrid.
Eva Lovelace, an american rock climber, organized last year a Leave No Trace workshop for Dreampeaks hikers and community. The clinic took place in Guadarrama National Park with the attendance of hikers, climbers and Madrid Mountain and Climbing Sports Federation.
Today we remind you THE LEAVE NO TRACE SEVEN PRINCIPLES
1.Plan Ahead and Prepare
• Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
• Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
• Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
• Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
• Repackage food to minimize waste.
• Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
2.Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
• Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
• Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
• Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
◦ In popular areas:
▪ Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
▪ Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
▪ Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
▪ In pristine areas:
▪ Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
▪ Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
3.Dispose of Waste Properly
• Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
• Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 inches) deep, at least 60 meters (200 feet) from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
• Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
• To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 60 meters (200 feet) away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
4.Leave What You Find
• Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
• Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
• Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
• Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
5.Minimize Campfire Impacts
• Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
• Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
• Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
• Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
• Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
• Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
• Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
• Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
• Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
7.Be Considerate of Other Visitors
• Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
• Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
• Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
• Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
• Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
Introduction: Eva Lovelace
Copyright: The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.
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