8 great ways to be Environmental Friendly on your next hikes

Hiking is a great adventure, allowing you to be active and discover new sights while immersing yourself in nature. As hikers, it’s important to be responsible and understand the impact that we can have on our environment. Here are the top 8 ways that we can support the environment so it lasts for the next hikers in the same pristine way we found it.

1. Stay hydrated with a reusable water bottle.

We all know how crucial it is to have enough water on a hike, but it’s just as key to use a reusable bottle on your next hike. Plastic bottle consumption is responsible for the devastation of our oceans, marine life, and landfills. It’s frustrating because it’s so effortless to have a reusable bottle to use on all our hikes.

2. Hike locally.

Fuel consumption is a major damaging factor for our environment, so we should all reduce our emissions from transport, whether a flight, a train, or car journey. Look into great local hikes that you can check out, or carpool with your hiking buddies to reduce your carbon footprint. This has the added benefit of familiarizing you with your own backyard.

3. Bring locally-sourced snacks.

It’s quite easy to make your own granola or trail mix to refuel on your hike, and this helps your wallet in addition to the environment. Plan ahead so you can use local ingredients and further reduce your carbon footprint while supporting local businesses. Avoid buying snacks from the store that use a lot of packaging.

4. Follow the Leave-No-Trace rule.

The rule that most hikers and environmentalists know is Leave No Trace. The concept is that you leave the place you were in the same condition you found it, so the next hikers won’t even know you’ve been in the woods. Bring everything out that you brought in, including all your garbage. To support the environment in the best way possible is to leave the place in better condition than you found it, so if you noticed any trash, pack it out with you.

5. Don’t leave the trail.

You might be tempted to wander off the path to look at a beautiful flower or try to get a nice view, but your detour will inevitably have a damaging impact on the ecosystem and the environment. All it takes is one set of footsteps for others to follow in your path and the next thing you know, that whole area of vegetation is destroyed. Wear the right shoes so you can stay on the path and keep the ground cover safe, preventing erosion.

Eco tourism against global warming and pollution

6. Use proper campsites.

Another key point is finding a well-used campsite when you’re backpacking. Use a surface that can sustain itself, like a flat rock or dirt that’s packed down hard. Putting your tent on grass can cause serious damage for a long time. Choosing established camping spots ensures that animals will also stay wild and we can share our spaces with them without damaging the flora or fauna.

7. Protect water sources.

Most people in developed countries especially take water for granted. However, to keep our waterways sustainable and the ecosystem balanced, we have to protect streams, lakes, and oceans. Do not wash your dishes by the water, and wash with personal water away from water sources, using biodegradable soap. Relieve yourself in self-dug cat holes more than 200 feet from a water source.

8. Manage your fire size.

Fire is dangerous on the trail, and it should be kept small and in the best space. Fires without borders can spread with only a single spark. Also, fires that are started without a bed of dirt and ash under can create a root fire that will burn for months underground and destroy native trees and plants. Monitor fire regulations for bans or restrictions where you’re hiking and camping.

Hikers inevitably love nature – that’s one of the reasons they hit the trails and explore the backcountry. By following these 8 steps, you can do your part to protect the environment you love for your fellow hikers.

A big promoter of green travel? Join the thousands of people to take the #ITravelGreen pledge with Zostel here and find more ways to heal the planet as you explore it.

About Author

Ellie Coverdale, a travel and lifestyle writer at UK Writings and Academized, shares her love of nature and the outdoors with her readers. She’s a keen environmentalist and volunteers her time for a lot of worthy nature causes and ocean cleanups. She also writes teaching articles on Essayroo.

Writer, Ellie Coverdale.