Things to Avoid
Korea has lots of mountains and mountain lovers, but we need to place restraints on our mountaineering culture.
It seems that more consciousness is needed. We need to avoid the following behavior :
- Damaging natural resources by doing things like marking on rocks.
- Picking wild plants, including medicinal herbs and edible herbs.
- Building cook fires where they are not permitted.
- Drinking alcohol and making excessive noise.
- Attaching excessive ribbons to mark trails.
- Making loud noise at peaks
- Throwing trash away.
We need to avoid damaging natural resources and picking wild plants and fruits like acorns, which are food for wild animals.
There are too many ribbons on most hiking trails. Ribbons are used to mark trails which have insufficient signs and information boards. However, the excessive number of ribbons is one example of damage to the natural scenery. Ribbons should only be used in areas where they are needed to help hikers find their way back. Attaching ribbons in an already established trail is like showing off. It indicates a lack of understanding of the purpose of ribbons and is the same as littering.
Making loud noise on the peaks should be avoided, except when requesting emergency rescue. Loud noise and yelling cause stress in the wildlife, like yelling and making noise in front of someone's house.
Care for People and Nature
A mountain is full of life. It doesn't belong to the people who visit but to the wildlife that live there. We need to remember that they have lived there for a long time and we need to care them. Good mountaineering culture begins being considerate of the wildlife habitat and other visitors.
The mountains are precious natural resources for our descendants. People go to mountains to promote their health and good relations with others.
Some just go there because they like mountains. The mountains are not private property. We are guests, and we need to be courteous visitors to the wildlife and other visitors.
Leave No Trace
For years, civic groups abroad encouraged people who spend time in the out-of-doors to behave in accordance with the established policies. One good example is the Leave No Trace. It suggests the following seven principles :
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.
Travel and camp on durable surfaces
Travel and camp on durable surfacesDurable 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.
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 6 to 8 inches deep at least 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 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
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.
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.
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.