If you enjoy hiking, you understand the importance of preserving nature. We want to protect everything that the great outdoors has to offer. By preserving nature, we are protecting it for ourselves, for future visitors, and for the creatures that make their home there. While we all believe in using an environmentally-friendly approach, here are a few things that we can do to make sure we are focusing on preserving nature while hiking and protecting the area where many animals make their homes:
- Always stay on the trail. Just straying off the trail slightly can cause damage. When you get a few steps off track, you are crushing flora and contributing to erosion. You will also end up causing multiple trails scattered throughout the backcountry and causing wash-outs that could have been avoided. When another hiker comes along, they will see someone else wandered off the trail, so they will follow suit and that will worsen the problem.
- Reusable water bottles are the only kinds you should use. The oceans and landfills are all contaminated with the disposable plastic water bottles despite them being recyclable. Buy a safe, sturdy, BPA-free water bottle to take with you. It can serve you well for years.
- Don’t leave trash. Always pick up your trash and take it out with you to dispose of it properly. If you come along trash left by someone else, you should take it along with you as well. Leave the area even cleaner than it was when you found it.
- Prepare your own snacks. You will need energy along the way. With the proper planning, you can mix up your own granola or trail mix with local ingredients. That cuts down on fuel use and transportation costs for the ingredients. It also lets you save money, cut down on waste, and reduce packaging. You should put your snacks in reusable containers.
- Carpool to the trailhead. When you are planning your hike, plan your transportation. You want to cut down on fuel use and pollution, so fill the vehicle to the max and carpool to your destination. When possible, go somewhere close so you don’t have to drive as far or use as much fuel.
- Protect the water supply. If you wash dishes, use biodegradable soap and your own water supply several feet away from any natural water sources. If you must relieve yourself while hiking, dig a cat hole at least 200 feet away from the water sources and then cover it when you are finished.
- When you build a campfire, use extra caution because a single ember can cause a forest fire. Build a small fire, ensure there is a well-built border, and put it on a bed of ash or well-packed dirt.
- If you are camping in the backcountry, use an established campsite. This helps separate you from wildlife to an extent and, also prevents damage to the grass and plant life. Just using a grassy knoll for one night can cause long-term damage to the area.
This article was created Personal Injury Help (www.personalinjury-law.com), an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice, and it is intended for informational use only.