Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces


Sticking to designated trails and camping areas in the backcountry helps ensure that our disruptions to the landscape and wildlife are minimal. The Transcaucasian Trail takes you through some of the most stunning and ecologically sensitive areas in the Caucasus, so tread carefully!



  • Hike and camp on durable surfaces, such as established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow. Avoid camping on fragile environments like meadows, wetlands, or areas with delicate vegetation.  

  • Protect riparian areas by camping at least 70 meters (200 feet) from lakes and streams.

  • Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.

  • Be mindful of where you step. Walk in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy. Trying to avoid mud by walking on the side of the trail only widens the trail and makes it muddier for the hikers after you! Avoid walking on fragile plants such as lichens, mosses, flowers and seedlings. 

  • Hike on the trail; don’t cut switchbacks. We worked hard to build them for a reason! Cutting switchbacks speeds up erosion.

  • Where there is no trail, spread your group out to minimize impacts on the plants and soil.
Trail through the forest


Failure to follow these guidelines can lead to: 

  • Ecological Disruption. Off-trail hiking and camping in fragile environments can trample sensitive vegetation and disrupt the habitats of small ground-dwelling creatures. Some plants in the Caucasus region are especially vulnerable and can take years to recover from a single misstep.

  • Soil Compaction. Stepping off-trail can compact the soil, making it harder for water to penetrate. This can lead to increased runoff, erosion, and negatively impact soil health.