When you want to enjoy the great outdoors and get up close and personal with nature, there is no better way than to go hiking. When you go hiking, you must remember that you are visiting the home of many creatures, so you need to respect the great outdoors and do everything that you can to preserve nature. Here are some of the best ways to preserve nature while hiking:
Don’t Get Off The Trail
While this does seem harmless, it really is not. Getting off the trail while you are out hiking will damage plants and contribute to erosion. If another hiker comes along and sees the crushed flora, then he or she will follow suit. After a few hikers have made their way off the trail, there will be trail widening or multiple trails will be created. This will contribute to wash outs of the trail farther down the way and it will damage plant roots. The back-country will end up riddled with trails all going to the same location.
Protect The Water Source
The most frequently used natural resource, water supplies need to be protected. When you are on a hike, be sure to protect the lakes, streams, ponds, and rivers. If you must use the bathroom while you are out on a hike, be sure to dig a cat hole that is at least 200 feet away from any water source. Use the cat hole then properly cover it. If you are washing dishes, use your own water supply and biodegradable soap away from the water sources.
Leave Nature Alone
While you should enjoy the great outdoors, you should leave things as you find them. This means you don’t carry out rocks or remove plants. Pulling up plant roots or cutting plants can be damaging, and by taking them to plant elsewhere can cause plants to overtake other plants in non-native area. It also contributes to the spread of disease and insects. You should also leave any wildlife you find on the trail alone.
Take Out The Trash
While you should already know this, don’t leave your trash laying around. If you have any trash from your snacks, be sure to carry it out with you and dispose of it properly. If you come across trash that was left by someone else, you should take it out with you and make sure it finds a trash can.
Reusable Water Bottles And Snacks
You should take your water along in reusable water bottles. Buy a safe, non-BPA water bottle that you can wash and reuse. There are millions of tons of plastic waters bottles that find their way to the landfills every year. Don’t contribute to that problem. You will want to take along snacks to help boost your energy. You should mix up your own granola and trail mix. By making it yourself, you reduce waste, save money, and create a healthier snack and you will know the ingredients. You should take any snacks in reusable containers, which will cut down on trash making its way into the landfill.
While some of these tips may seem inconvenient, they will go a long way in keeping the trail around for generations of hikers to come.
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