Minimum Impact Code
Increasing numbers of bushwalkers visiting national parks, wilderness areas and other reserves are putting pressure on the natural environment.
The following Minimum Impact Code has been designed to help preserve our fragile bush environment.
- Plan your trip to minimise rubbish, and carry out everything you carry in.
- Keep to formed tracks even if muddy. Avoid trampling the vegetation alongside the track. Do not take short cuts.
- Do not mark new routes.
- Spread out in untracked country to disperse impact upon the vegetation.
- Stay on rocks and hard ground wherever possible.
- Avoid sensitive vegetation, such as cushion plants and sphagnum bogs.
- Keep the party size reasonable. Large groups create extra pressure on the environment, particularly at campsites.
- Avoid campsite construction, such as drainage ditches and fireplaces.
- Leave an area as you find it, except to remove rubbish left by others.
- If there is a toilet, use it; if not, bury toilet wastes at least 100 metres away from campsites and watercourses.
- Streams and lakes are a water supply. Do not pollute them with detergent, food scraps, toothpaste or soap.
- Use portable stoves rather than fires. Dead wood is an important part of nature’s cycle and is often scarce, particularly in alpine areas. Fireplace scars are unsightly and there is always the danger of bush fire.
- If you must make a wood fire, keep it small. Locate it in a cleared area or use an existing fireplace. Afterwards, completely extinguish the fire and remove foil or tins to carry out. Do not light fires in ‘fuel stove only’ areas.
- Respect the solitude of others by avoiding undue noise or disturbances.
This code is published in Safety in the Bush, the HWC publication of practical information for planning a bushwalking adventure.