1.  What is the best size for a group that goes hiking?

        No more than 10 in designated wilderness areas. This is a good number for all hikes. If you are in an area considered
        fragile and remote, then the group should be smaller. If you are hiking with a large group, split into smaller ones and stay
        about 30 minutes apart on the trail.
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   2.  Name five surfaces which can withstand foot traffic very well.

        Rock, gravel, sand, compacted dirt, snow, ice, pine needles and dry grass are all durable surfaces. Avoid loose, wet or
        thin soils. Be particularly careful when hiking above tree line where plants are very fragile. One boot scrape may destroy a
        layer of soil that has taken centuries to create.
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   3.  When you encounter mud in the middle of a trail what should you do?

        Wear gaiters and check the depth of the mud before walking through it. Do not detour around the mud. This erodes the
        sides of the trail and makes the situation worse. If there are loose rocks or downed branches handy, then consider using
        these as stepping stones. If possible, avoid trails during rainy periods.
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   4.  How can you help minimize the effects of hiking boots on the trail?

        Wear the lightest boot possible. Boots should not have a deep tread or lugs. Always walk on durable surfaces.
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   5.  What's the hiker's etiquette for crossing private land?

        If you know beforehand you will cross private land, you should seek permission. Leave any gates (either open or closed)
        as you found them. Otherwise do nothing that will leave any evidence of your presence.
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   6.  After eating, which food scraps can be disposed of in the woods?

        None! It is never appropriate to leave behind any food, seeds, peels, cores, etc. While these items are natural and will
        eventually decompose, no one appreciates finding someone else's garbage out in the woods -- and it is not visually
        attractive. Also, food scraps attract annoying insects, can be harmful for wildlife and will habituate animals to humans.
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   7.  You are hiking next to a babbling brook when nature calls. What do you do?

       Seek out a flat area or depression with no evidence of flooding or animal activity at least 200 feet from any water. Sunny
        spots hasten decomposition. Avoid spraying leaves and plants as your urine can burn the leaves and makes them
        attractive as food to animals.
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   8.  When hiking how do you dispose of solid human waste and toilet paper?

        Your main objective is to keep waste away from water, animals and people. Buried feces and toilet paper break down
        slowly. You should dig and use a cathole with this in mind. Also, pay attention to the points mentioned in answer #7. In
        fragile areas, frozen or very hard ground, or areas with heavy human use, you should pack out the waste and the toilet
        paper (use double-bagged, heavy-duty zipper lock bags). Certain environments, such as in the desert, above tree line or
        river travel, may require additional techniques. Be sure to find out before you go.
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   9.  What is a cathole? How do you prepare and use a cathole?

        A cathole is used for solid human waste. It is a small hole about 6-8" deep. It is dug with a trowel. A trowel is a small hand
        shovel and should be part of everyone's backpacking equipment. Try to remove a solid plug of earth and set it aside while
        you do your business. Afterward use a stick to thoroughly mix the toilet paper and waste in the hole. Replace the plug of
        earth. The stick you used for mixing should be stuck into the hole with the clean end sticking out of the ground as a
        signal to everyone else that this area has been used.
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  10. What natural substances can you use instead of toilet paper?

        Non-irritating leaves are best (maple and hobblebush are good -- beech and oak can be scratchy -- avoid leaves of
        three!). Snow can also be used.
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  11. How far from water should you set up camp? How far from a trail?

        The general rule of thumb is 200 feet for both. Water should never be closer than 200 feet. The distance from a trail
        should be far enough that you cannot be seen and a low-volume conversation cannot be heard. If you are camping in
        grizzly bear country, you will need to move farther away and take additional precautions.
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  12. While hiking you are looking for a place to spend the night. You find a beautiful meadow. Where should you pitch your

        You do not camp in the meadow. The ecology is too fragile. Find a spot on a durable surface in the tree line next to the
        meadow. Enjoy the view and leave it unspoiled for others to enjoy.
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  13. You camp in an established campsite. It has one main fire ring and several others scattered around. Does this situation
        require you to do anything special?

       In established campsites it is okay to have one and only one fire ring. This concentrates impact in one location. For the  
        future enjoyment of others all secondary fire rings should be dismantled and made to look as natural as possible. Any
        rocks or unburned wood should be scattered in the woods out of sight (the farther away the better).
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  14. What are the best surfaces on which to camp?

        Rock, gravel, sand, compacted dirt, snow, ice, pine needles and dry grass are all durable surfaces. Avoid loose, wet or
        thin soils. Be particularly careful when hiking above tree line where plants are very fragile. One boot scrape may destroy a
        layer of soil that has taken centuries to create.
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  15. In an established campsite where should people set up their tents?

        Set up in areas of high impact and use. Do not extend the site beyond its already established boundaries. [back to quiz]

  16. You are hot and tired and need to get to your destination before dark. The trail you are on descends sharply with lots of
        switchbacks. You can see the trail not far below where you are. Is it okay to bushwhack through the woods to save time?

        It is never okay to cut the trail. Switchbacks are established to make your hiking effort easier, but more importantly to   
        help fight soil erosion. Cutting across switchbacks encourages future hikers to follow your lead resulting in deep trail
        erosion and rutting. Always use existing trails. Never make new ones!
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  17. You are camping with a group in an area that has no established campsites. How should you set up your tents?

        Disperse your tents widely throughout the area and pitch them on the most durable surfaces. Do not concentrate everyone
        together. Try to lessen your impact by spreading out your activities. Do not create new paths. Set up your pantry and
        cooking areas on the most durable surfaces available.
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  18. You are hiking in an area known for its Native American history. While taking a break you find a piece of pottery. What
        should you do with it?

        Leave it where you found it. Allow others the same sense of discovery. Leave rocks, plants, animals, archeological
        artifacts and other objects just as you found them. It may be illegal to remove artifacts. The location and description of
        any artifacts you find should be reported to responsible authorities.
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  19. You camp near the trail, but not in a specified campsite. You are wet and cold, so you build a small fire. Before leaving the
        next morning what should you do?

        All evidence of your fire should be removed and scattered out of sight in the woods. A properly built fire will have burned
        completely to ash. No wood larger than an adult's wrist should ever be used. If you built your fire on a bed of sand or
        gravel, then replace or scatter it. If you dug out a plug of earth replace it. Never use rocks as a ring except in established
        sites as they blacken and become unsightly. Instead of building fires use your backpacking stove as much as possible
        for cooking and warmth.
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  20. You are hiking with a group and come to a meadow with no established trail across it. You need to get to the other side.
        What should you do?

        If there is a trail around it, then take the trail! Otherwise everyone in the group should fan out as far as possible to walk
        across it. This minimizes the impact. If you walk single-file, there soon will be a trail, as others follow your lead.
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  21. What color clothing should you wear while hiking? Why? What color should your tent be? Why?

        All clothing, tent and gear equipment colors should be in muted earth tones. The color of your equipment has no effect on
        the environment, but does affect the enjoyment of the outdoors by others. Visual pollution can be just as annoying as
        other types.
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  22. After you clean up your meal what should you do with your trash?

        If you are having a fire it may be okay to burn some of it (burn only paper items, never plastic or other petroleum-based
        products). Remaining trash, including food items and any paper which was not totally consumed in your fire, must be
        packed out. Remember -- Pack It In, Pack It Out!
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  23. You are sitting quietly in your campsite when a few deer begin to approach. What should you do?

        Nothing. Stay calm and still. Observe wildlife from afar. Never approach or disturb them. Never make any sudden  
        movements. During breeding, nesting and birthing seasons give them a wide berth. You are too close to wildlife if an
        animal alters its normal behavior.
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  24. After a day of hiking you set up camp. Should you bring any special clothing items to wear while in camp? What and why?

       Always bring camp clothes. These are something light, comfortable, clean (hopefully) and dry. Lightweight camp shoes
        should replace your hiking boots as soon as you find a campsite. Lightweight shoes are more friendly to the earth and your
        feet than your boots.
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  25. You have found a beautiful place to camp near a stream. What should you do? Why?

        Keep going! Find another site. Remember -- camping less than 200 feet from a water source is not Leave No Trace. You
        will be taking care of hygiene issues near your site (going to the bathroom and brushing teeth), cooking and establishing a
        human presence. Environmentally it is not sound to camp near water. Also, it is disruptive to wildlife. Your presence may
        block their normal path to water and feeding or otherwise alter their behavior. Quick movements and loud noises are
        stressful to animals.
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  26. You are ready to leave your campsite -- what are the last things you should do?

        Police the area for any signs that someone has been there -- look for small pieces of trash, be sure signs of your
        campfire have been removed, check the trees for ropes and other hanging items. Your goal should be to leave your
        campsite in better condition than you found it. Spend as much time dismantling and restoring it as you did establishing it.
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  27. In your campsite you have some cute chipmunks and squirrels which are begging for food. What should you do? Why?

       Ignore them. Keep wildlife wild. If you feed wildlife you are sentencing them to death. When animals become habituated to
        human food they lose their instincts to hunt and gather. These behaviors are then passed onto their offspring. Eventually
        they cannot survive without human food. Also, wild animals which have been fed lose their fear of humans. They become
        very aggressive, may bite and will not hesitate to chew through your tent or backpack. Human fed animals carrying rabies
        become an even more serious threat. Larger animals, like bears, may need to be destroyed. Don't feed wildlife, no matter
        how cute they look. In many jurisdictions it is against the law!
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  28. Why should you always carry a small plastic bag in your pocket when hiking and camping?

        Whenever you are in the outdoors it is a good idea to pick up any trash you find. When you are away from trash cans
        having a small bag in your pocket makes this task more pleasant.
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  29. What are the seven principles of "Leave No Trace"?

        Plan Ahead and Prepare
        Camp and Travel On Durable Surfaces
        Pack It In, Pack It Out
        Leave What You Find
        Minimize the Use of Campfires
        Respect Wildlife
        Respect Others  
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  30. What is the Outdoor Code? Can you recite it?

        The Outdoor Code
        As an American, I will do my best to -
        Be clean in my outdoor manners.
        I will treat the outdoors as a heritage.
        I will try to improve it for myself and others.
        I will keep my trash and garbage out of America's waters, fields, woods, and roadways.
        Be careful with fire.
        I will prevent wildfire.
        I will build my fire in a safe place and be sure it is out before I leave.
        Be considerate in the outdoors.
        I will treat public and private property with respect.
        I will remember that use of the outdoors is a right that I can lose by abuse.
        Be conservation minded.
        I will learn how to practice good conservation of soil, waters,
        forests, minerals, grasslands, wildlife, and energy.
        I will urge others to do the same.
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LNT Quiz Answers
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Since March 17, 2013