Remember this for EVERY beach you visit!

In an effort to keep Cape Hatteras National Seashore looking beautiful and safe for both humans and wildlife, the Seashore has partnered with the Outer Banks Preservation Association (OBPA) in a pack it in, pack it out program that encourages all beachgoers to reduce impacts during their visits by remembering that what is brought onto the beach should be brought off the beach at the end of each visit. Thanks to the partnership with OBPA, pack it in, pack it out informational signs have been installed at numerous locations throughout the Seashore.

Pack it in, pack it out is part of the Seven Principles of the Leave No Trace program. The principles provide guidance to enjoy our natural world in a sustainable way that avoids human-created impacts.

Leave No Trace Seven Principles

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
    • Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you’ll visit
    • Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies
    • Repackage food to minimize waste.
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
    • Pack it in, pack it out. Pack out all trash, leftover food, and litter.
  4. Leave What You Find
    • Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
    • Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
    • Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
    • 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.
    • Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
    • Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
    • Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
    • Be courteous.

The above information is adapted from the Leave No Trace: Center for Outdoor Ethics website.

Photo courtesy phoenixbeachbuggys.com