Whatever your hiking desires, there are always new adventures calling for you. We fully understand the dream of seeing remarkable sites and finding the most remote places. However, remember that every step and every choice you make will have an impact on the environment around you.
So here are the best ways to show a little more love for the environment while embarking on a hiking adventure.
Bring a reusable water bottle
Water is so important to have with you on any hike. Make sure you have planned ahead to bring your reusable bottle. Our consumption of plastic bottles has taken over our oceans and landfills. It’s so disheartening when you see how simple and easy it is to take your own.
Think about local hikes
The fuel consumed by any mode of transportation, be it a car, plane or train, can add a lot of toxic gas emissions to the environment. Pick a local hike to explore, or carpool with friends if you want to go a little further. By forgoing long trips for your excursions, you will better understand your local landscape while preserving our atmosphere.
Cook your own food or eat local
Favoring local cuisine, made by yourself or by a restaurant near you, will be better for your budget as well as for the environment. By planning ahead, you can use ingredients that haven’t traveled far from their source. You’ll also avoid the excessive packaging that so often accompanies snacks bought at gas stations and the like.
Finally, to reward yourself, choose a local restaurant after your hike. Rather than choosing a fast food restaurant, choose a business that favors sustainable products and foods.
Take pictures but don’t leave a memory in nature
Perhaps the best-known rule in the wilderness is to leave no traces. This means that no one should be able to tell that you were in the woods or that you took a certain hiking path.
Whatever you have brought, you should always take it home and not lose it in the wild. This helps to preserve the rustic and natural aspect of the environment. But beyond that, to really love the surroundings, leave the place cleaner than you found it.
Stay on the marked hiking trails
Although the off-trail view seems close enough to venture safely, your detour will wear out the natural wildlife. A person who gets out of the way encourages others to do the same. This will quickly create many trails in what was previously a hinterland area.
Plus, going around muddy areas quickly widens them. Prepare with the right shoes so you can confidently descend the middle of the trail, even in the mud. This will help you prevent erosion and preserve more ground cover.
Use the planned camping places
When hiking, finding a well-maintained campsite is very important. Find a durable surface, such as a flat rock or hard earth. If you park your tent on soft, fluffy grass, even overnight, you can cause damage in the long run.
Regular campsites are also a safe place to stay away from wildlife. Letting the animals stay wild by limiting our invasion is a benevolent gesture as they let us explore their home. By choosing well-established hiking and camping spots, we can share our land with our plants and animals.
Avoid leaving your own waste in nature
It might sound silly to say, but it is an incredibly important topic! We are usually ready to clean up after our dogs, so why not ourselves? Human waste is quickly becoming a hot topic.
The best solution is to dig a hole at least 10 to 15 cm deep in a low-traffic area. If you find yourself in a place where you cannot dig, you need to repack it. There are human waste bags and portable toilets that will keep your waste until you can dispose of it properly.
By choosing these options, you protect your hiking companions and the local ecosystem from unwanted waste.
Water is one of the most used resources in our life. In order to preserve our natural waterways and the current balance, we must defend our rivers, lakes and oceans. There are several ways to keep the water clean.
Do not wash dishes in waterways. Instead, choose a biodegradable soap and wash with some of your personal water. By respecting the beauty of natural water in this way, we can share a little more love with aquatic animals.
Be careful with fire
Fire can be one of the most dangerous things in wilderness camping or hiking. While it’s nice to roast marshmallows on the fire, make sure it’s small and placed in a designated spot.
A borderless fire can spread quickly with a simple spark. In addition, a fire without a bed of healthy soil and ash below can start a root fire. This can burn for months without showing signs on the surface and wreak havoc on the structures of native trees and plants.
Always be sure to check fire regulations to see if there are any bans or restrictions where you are.
Choose eco-responsible clothing
It might seem like an odd way to take care of the environment, but clothing choices have a huge impact on the environment. The first way is quite simply their production.
Every time a garment is made, there is more pollution in the air, both in terms of manufacturing and transport.
If you need new hiking gear, look for eco-friendly brands.
At Runaway Outdoor, we have decided to market 100% organic cotton clothing, respectful of the environment and printed in France to reduce our carbon footprint.
There are many ways to take care of nature. Whether you forgo the disposable plastic water bottle or dig a hole to relieve yourself, nature will thank you for your green choices.
Remember that our forests, our waters and our animals are all meant to balance each other out.