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HSR Backcountry Camping Policies

In the wilderness, it is crucial to minimize the impact on particularly fragile ecosystems such as mountain, lakes, stream deserts and seashores. The Horseshoe Scout Reservation maintains several backcountry campsites. The use of these areas requires a separate permit issued by the HSR Rangers. and is utilized only in accordance with the strictest backcountry guidelines. Since our recreational use varies from one season of the year to the next, we adjust to these changing conditions as well to avoid damaging the environment.

The following policies are in effect to protect
the Horseshoe Scout Reservation Wilderness Area for you and future generations:
NOTE: Low Impact, No Trace camping policies are in effect! 

Group Size
To reduce impacts to trails, campsites, other visitors:
• Group size is limited to 12 people

• Advance reservations are required to use this area. Reservations can be made here 
• At least one person in the group has been formally trained in Leave No Trace policies, and has reviewed   these guidelines with all participants. See http://lnt.org
• Contact the HSR Ranger for designated hard-shelter areas to be used in case of severe weather.

To protect trail tread and minimize soil erosion:
• Always travel along established trails
• Shortcutting switchbacks is not allowed

To reduce impacts to soils, vegetation, wildlife and other visitors and prevent water pollution:
• Except for designated campsites, overnight camping must be located at least 200 feet away from a thruway trail and 200 feet away from streams, creeks or springs
Camping is not permitted in designated wildlife or ecosystem recovery areas.
• The maximum length of stay by any individual or group is three days (two nights) at one site.
• The construction of temporary camp structures such as racks, tent frames, survival shelters or temporary tables is not permitted.
• Toilet use must be at least 200 feet from a campsite or water source and out of sight of the trail. Human feces must be buried in a six-inch-deep hole in accordance with Leave No Trace guidelines.
Wash clothes, dishes, and bodies at least 200 feet from any source of natural water.
• Emphasize the need for minimizing impact on the land through proper camping practices, and for preserving the solitude and quiet of remote areas.

To keep the Wilderness clean and refuse free:
• All trash will be packed out and no garbage will be buried or burned.

• Contact the HSR Ranger prior heading to the wilderness areas to verify current fire conditions and that a fire ban is not in effect.
Open fires are always prohibited except at designated sites. Campfires are permitted only in established fire rings, of reasonable size and are to be cleaned in accordance with the principles of Leave No Trace at the termination of your stay. Use only wood that is dead and on the ground.
• Use backpacking stoves, particularly where the fuel supply is limited or open fires are restricted. An adult knowledgeable in the use of the stove(s) must supervise. If a fire is necessary, keep it as small as possible and use established fire lays where available in safe areas. After use, erase all signs.
• Cutting or removing standing wood (either dead or alive) is not allowed without permission from an HSR Ranger.

Motorized/mechanized equipment
Primitive tools and means of travel are basic to the Wilderness experience. Use of a motor vehicle and/or motorized equipment in any part of the wilderness area is prohibited.
• The use of chainsaws is restricted to operators who are at least 18 years old and have taken and passed the Horseshoe Scout Reservation chainsaw safety training class.
• Use of a bicycles, ATVs, wagons or carts (including game carts) is prohibited.

• Do not harass, disturb, or injure the wildlife or their nesting places and habitat. HSR is their home . . . WE are the visitors. Treat wildlife with respect and take precautions to avoid dangerous encounters with wildlife. Leave snakes, bears, ground squirrels, and other wildlife alone.
• When not being consumed or transported, all food and trash must be suspended at least 10 feet off the ground and four feet from the nearest limb or trunk. Cables are provided at established campsites for this purpose.
• The use of salt or food for attracting wildlife is prohibited.

• Respect the quest of others to enjoy the solitude and silence of the backcountry.
• Look at and photograph; never pick or collect.
• Demonstrate respect by taking care of the outdoors. Land stewardship is everyone's responsibility. Do your part to leave wild America for future generations.

For additional information contact:

HSR Ranger Station
239 Jubilee Road / Peach Bottom, PA / 17563
(Phone) 717-548-3352


Backcountry Camping
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