Whenever you head into the wild outdoors, you should always think about ways to minimize the impacts that you and your party have on the flora and fauna that call the area home. Five key rules-of-thumb that everyone should adhere to when venturing into the wilderness are:
1) Pack out your own trash, and carry out more trash than you bring. Picking up after others will greatly increase the enjoyment for future visitors and for your next trip.
2) Tread lightly. Always stay within the confines of the trail. Trails will often be muddy and difficult to travel, but by staying on the path you will ensure only one path exists. We have seen areas with up to six trails that parallel one another because people do not respect this principle. Additionally, if you are camping, try to pitch your tent in an area that will cause the smallest impact.
3) Don't bite at more than you can chew. The ability to recognize your own personal limits will save you from getting into some hairy situations. Moreover, everyone will have a better time if you stay within your physical parameters.
4) Follow the rules and regulations delineated by the entity that manages the land. This may include the United States Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Managment (BLM), county, city, etc.
5) RESPECT!!! Remember you are a visitor in the place through which you are traveling. Respect the land, creatures, and people with which you cross paths.