Tails from the trail and tips on training your human

Preserving the Environment While Hiking

Preserving the Environment - Happy Breath

Preserving the Environment::  The best way to cure burnout is reconnecting with nature. Going for a walk, sitting under the sun, or lazing around on a beach are some of the luxuries we can indulge in when taking a break.

One activity that is slightly rigorous and demands a certain level of fitness is hiking. Waking up early to hike along a trail to catch a sunrise or sunset is one of the most rewarding feelings ever. It instantly lights up your mood, provides you with the endorphins you need while giving you a much-needed workout.

However, hiking, much like other activities, has some etiquettes that are non-negotiable. This is because hiking is done mostly on natural trails, which are part of a bigger ecosystem of that particular area. So naturally, this means there are flora and fauna that consider the trail their home. Therefore they mustn’t be disturbed by the hikers’ presence or whatever they do on the trail.

Therefore, the onus of protecting the environment is on hikers, who should be well versed in ways to protect the environment.

10 Tips to Preserve the Environment

1. Learn trail rules

Before you plan to go for a hike, the first thing you should do is to research a bit about your chosen trail. Today, most trails have an online presence on websites or on social media where you can learn their rules and regulations. This is an important step in preserving the environment because you will know what is allowed on the trail. Hence, preparing beforehand can save you and the hiking trails a lot of trouble.

2. Leave no trace ­

This is one of the guiding principles that all hikers should know about. It has seven principles that are more or less similar to this list. But put, the principle calls for nothing but footprints that should be left behind after a hike. In addition, any item hikers bring, such as camping bags, tools, torches, and even food, should be packed up and taken home. We recommend you follow the Leave No Trace organization.

3. Protect water resources

Hiking trails may have some water resources, such as a stream or a waterfall. These water bodies usually serve as resources for animals living in that area. While it is fine to use them for drinking and washing purposes, it is not good to pollute the water resources with plastic or other items that are not natural to the environment. Doing so may result in algae bloom or toxins that may harm marine life. In addition to this, all animals that drink from that water resource may be at risk if the water is extremely polluted.

4. Keep your dog in check

One of the ways that hikers can have company on hiking trails is by bringing their dogs. They are a good addition to the hike as they can provide security along with some fun. However, some trails do not allow dogs. Others may allow them but on a leash. Therefore, a hiker’s duty should be to ensure they comply with the rules of the trail they have chosen. Furthermore, they should also be vigilant about their dog’s activities while hiking. It should not harm plants or the animals on the trail.

5. Don’t use plastic

One of the worst ways to pollute the environment is using and throwing plastic. It is the only item that takes about 1000 years to decompose, causing it to be present in abundance in landfills. There is no denying that it makes life easy, especially when you’re hiking, but it is extremely damaging to the environment and the animals. Not only this, but plastic hampers the beauty of a trail, which is one of the many reasons why hikers enjoy hiking.

6. Don’t take Mementos

You may be tempted to pluck a beautiful flower or an exotic plant species while hiking. Or you may even come across a beautiful pebble that you might want to take home. But this behavior is not encouraged as it goes against hike etiquettes. If all hikers take home a little keepsake from each hike, the chances of a hiking trail becoming empty and barren increase significantly. Think of it as your home, and then you probably won’t be tempted to take things out of their natural environment.

7.  Leave fauna alone

You may come across unique birds and animals while hiking. While it is okay to be awed, it is not good to capture or hunt them down. This is not allowed on hiking trails as it causes an imbalance in the biodiversity of that area. If you want to go hunting, then there are other setups where it is allowed.

8. Bring your meal

One of the ways to ensure that you are preserving the environment, in the long run, is to bring a home-cooked meal to the trail. It does not only save you time, but it also protects the trail from a potential fire, the chances of which increase if there is any cooking or heating involved.

9. Don’t litter

This is a basic etiquette that applies in all settings. Whether it is a park, a water body, or a hiking trail, littering is the worst habit. It not only burdens the cleaner taking care of the place, but it also affects its beauty. Hikers can ensure they don’t resort to littering by carrying a disposable bag to store litter that they can dispose of later.

The Bottom Line

Ensuring that our activities does not harm the environment is a big responsibility. However, that does not mean we don’t adopt ethical practices which benefit the environment. Instead, it is becoming increasingly depressing to witness biodiversity loss, pollution of ocean waters, and barren lands globally due to human activity. In such a backdrop, taking care of our environment by following these precautions is a task that falls squarely on us. Therefore, hikers should incorporate these tips in their hiking journey and inspire others to follow them.