Leave No Trace on the TCT

Guidelines for Minimizing Your Impact and Preserving the Landscape


In addition to building and maintaining the TCT, one of our goals is connecting and supporting the diverse communities and ecosystems of the Caucasus Mountains—which also means protecting them not just for today, but also for future generations. 

We firmly believe that tourism can be a force for good. Cultural exchange with visitors can open minds and facilitate the sharing of ideas. The infrastructure that springs up around hikers—guesthouses, transport, guides, restaurants—creates jobs and provides income to mountain communities, creating more opportunities for people to stay in their home villages and make a living. An increasing number of visitors to natural areas raises awareness of these ecosystems and why they’re important—creating more incentive to protect our forests, lakes, marshes, and mountains for the long term, rather than logging the forests or over-developing the land.

As a hiker on the TCT, you’re part of this movement too. Your actions set the precedent for what tourism can and should look like in this region that we love.

Small impacts repeated by thousands become major impacts. Most of the destructive impacts hikers have on the environment aren’t intentional—they’re either a result of not being aware of their impact or of not planning well enough to have the time required to dig a proper cathole, find a low-impact campsite, or wash your dishes away from water sources. Even the most experienced among us can often use a brush-up on our skills and best practices. 

We want everyone, no matter how much experience you have in the mountains, to feel empowered to continue learning and educating others about how to protect our shared environment so we can build a better world together.

The guidelines below are based on the universally admired “Leave No Trace” principles to ensure that your adventure in the Caucasus has minimal environmental impact. Let’s build a sustainable hiking culture that respects the delicate balance of our vibrant landscapes.


Leave No Trace Principles (2)


Plan Ahead and Prepare


Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces


Dispose of Waste Properly


Leave What You Find


Minimize Campfire Impacts


Respect Wildlife


Be Considerate of Locals and Other Visitors


The Transcaucasian Trail offers a unique blend of natural wonder and cultural richness. As visitors, it’s our responsibility to ensure that the trail experience is positive for everyone, from fellow hikers to local communities to the plant and animal species around the trail. 

By treading thoughtfully and with respect, we can all contribute to the TCT’s vision of sustainable and inclusive tourism and help keep it beautiful for future generations.

Thank you for being part of this movement. Happy trails!