As a rule stay on trails, impact on wildlife, soil and vegetation can be
minimized by traveling on constructed trails that, in many cases, have been
designed to accommodate heavy use. Do not shortcut trails or switch backs.
Muddy stretches and most snow banks should be crossed, rather than skirted. If
you carry a saw, you can help local land managers by cutting and removing
deadfall in the trail. Rerouting trails around obstacles causes vegetation
damage, erosion and development of multiple paths.
Things to consider when you break for Lunch
When taking rest breaks, choose a site well off the trail so that others are
not forced to leave the trail to go around you. When possible, pull off on a
durable surface such as dry grass or sand. For short breaks, you may be able to
hand - hold your horses; however, if you must tie up, choose live trees at
least 8" in diameter and wrap the lead rope around the truck twice before
you tie the knot. For extended breaks, use hobbles, high lines or pickets. Tend
the horses often. Nervous horses which trample or paw the ground while tied can
be hobbled to prevent damage to the tree roots. Manure piles should be kicked
apart and scattered, and any pawed ground should be filled in.
Contraining your Stock
There are several ways to restain your animal in the back country. Above are
examples of the picket line and the high line. Hobbles work fine if your animal
is accustomed to them. The picket line is good for short time grazing, be sure
to move the animal regularly so as not to damage the area. The high line is the
best for long tie times and over night stay's. High lines should be stretched
over hard durable ground. Keep picketed, high lined and hobbled horses well
away from camp, lakes and streams.
Always use tree saver straps with your high line. They will keep the tree
healthy for your next pack trip.
Both rider and hiker should communicate while passing on the trail. It's
good for you and it makes the horse/mule feel more comfortable with the person
you are approaching.