Should you walk single file or spread out on cryptobiotic soils? Why?

In areas with cryptogam (cryptobiotic soil), it is vital to concentrate use on durable ground. Open expanses of rock, known as slickrock, and dry washes where no cryptobiotic soil crusts can grow, provide excellent minimum-impact travel corridors. Areas covered with dense leaf litter, such as found under pinyon and juniper trees, offer another durable surface for walking or camping. If you find yourself surrounded by cryptobiotic soil crusts, step directly in one another’s footprints as you move across the crusts to a more resistant travel path. The first footprint actually causes the most damage, so it is inappropriate to spread out when crossing cryptogam. Crosscountry travel should be avoided in such fragile places, and camping on these soils should never be necessary. Stay on rock or in dry washes. Be aware of flash flood danger if camping or traveling in any wash.