Hiking is known to help individuals experience nature in person, rather than just watch it from a TV screen. However, as more and more people take up hiking, there’s now a need for sustainable hikers. By “sustainable,” we mean that it’s only right for all hikers to explore places in the most respectful way possible. Sounds simple, right? It is!
So, if you want to be an eco-warrior-hiker hybrid, then read on! We’re here to give you 6 tips on how to be a sustainable hiker when you’re planning your trip, and when you’re on your trip!
1. Pick The Right Trail
“In the early stages of planning a hike, you must determine which trail you want to hike,” says David Trower, a travel writer at Liahelp and Oxessays. “Look at when various hiking trails will be busy, or if there will be any people there. Nowadays, hiking and national parks have become so popular, that they tend to get crowded at some point or another. So, if possible, opt for an alternative or quieter destination to hike at. This saves you and the environment from the stresses of overcrowding.”
2. Choose Sustainable Brands
While it’s important to pack some essentials for your trip, it’s also important to make sure that they’re sustainable for the trip. The gear and equipment you use cannot harm the environment, even if they’re not physically involved in the hiking process – it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Luckily, there are sustainable outdoors brands that champion eco-friendly practices. So, look for brands like Bluesign, Fairtrade, or other vegan symbols that have the right certifications, saying that they’re eco-friendly. Also, check out brands that product ethical clothing (which is better for the environment) like:
- Patagonia, AND
3. Use Sustainable Sunscreens and Creams
While it’s important to protect yourself from the UV rays from sunlight while you’re outdoors, it’s also important to use sunscreens, creams, and sprays that won’t harm the environment. In fact, a lot of sun creams and insect repellants contain nasty chemicals that can harm the natural world.
So, when shopping for sunscreen and ointment, look for vegan and cruelty-free sun creams from PETA, plus a natural insect repellant (which free from all those unwanted chemicals).
4. Pack Sustainable Food and Drink
When hiking, make sure to pack some wholesome snacks that won’t get you tired during your exploration. Making your own snacks can help skip all that unnecessary packaging; plus, you won’t worry about dealing with so much trash after you eat.
Also, try to wrap and package your foods responsibly. Buy a good quality food container that will last, as well as a high-capacity water bottle that’ll replace those pesky single-use plastic bottles.
5. Leave Nothing Behind
“It’s never okay to leave your waste behind when you hike,” says Adam Walpole, a lifestyle blogger at Paper fellows and State of writing. “Not only is abandoned waste an eyesore for other hikers, but it’s also dangerous for the local ecosystem, because wildlife can mistake trash for food and get sick. Plus, even if certain wastes like apple cores and banana skins are biodegradable, it’s still a big no-no to leave them lying around on the hiking trail.”
So, remember: Leave no trace!
6. Respect Local Wildlife
Finally, respect the wildlife that you may come across on your hiking adventure. While it can be tempting to engage with a wild animal, don’t do it. If an animal feels threatened, then it will attack, bite, sting, or do anything to get away. Understand that wild animals aren’t used to humans being near them, and they may react aggressively if you get too close.
So, always keep a safe distance from wildlife. And, when observing from afar, try not to disturb the natural environment. You’ll find that you’re more likely to spot wildlife this way. And, whatever you do, DO NOT feed the animals. Human food, as tasty as it might look to animals, can actually be harmful to them by upsetting their stomachs.
So, as you’ve seen here in this article, it’s important to be environmentally responsible when you’re hiking. Therefore, follow these 6 simple tips on being more eco-friendly, and your hiking will not only go off without a hitch, but you’ll also be an eco-warrior as you explore your local environment.
So, have fun, and stay safe on your next hike!
Kristin Herman is a writer and editor at Ukwritings.com and Academized.com. She is also a contributing writer for online publications, such as Boomessays.com. As a marketing writer, she blogs about the latest trends in digital advertising and eco-friendly marketing.
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