Hiking is an experience like no other. It is not only refreshing but can also serve as a perfect way to unwind and get the much-needed exercise your body requires. However, as more people embrace eco-friendly practices, your hiking experience must focus on protecting the environment. But how does one ensure that their hiking trip is eco-friendly and still enjoyable? Check out the tips and suggestions below for your next big hike adventure.
1. Get an outdoor adventure subscription box
Interestingly, one of the best ways to save money and protect the environment is to use only what you need. Think of it as a survival experience. When out in the wild, a few things will make it easy and more convenient for you to thrive and survive. It may not be easy to know what to pack each time you go hiking.
Some items include eco-friendly gear such as shoes, outfits, and gadgets. Identify a subscription box that you like and try it out. You can try different offers every time you go on a hike. The good news is that these boxes come with the specific items you need. Consequently, there will be minimal wastage and littering, thus protecting the environment. In addition, it is something that supports a positive, eco-friendly lifestyle even when hiking.
2. Use Energy Saving Options
You should invest in solar-powered gadgets. Using renewable energy is beneficial to the environment. The fewer carbon emissions are released in the air during energy production, the better it is for everyone. Consequently, make a point of using products that utilize solar and other renewable energy while hiking. This could be your flashlight and chargers.
3. Stay Away from Bottled Water
It is essential to strive to minimize plastic wastage. Plastic is a serious menace in the environment today. Unfortunately, most items are packed in plastics, including essentials such as water. Instead of buying plastic packaged water, go for those in reusable bottles.
Alternatively, bring your drinking water from home or use refills at different points. It is better to use a water bottle to keep refilling than buying water in a disposable plastic bottle. Unfortunately, these plastics often end up in the environment and could cause harm to the animals in the wild when they consume them. What’s more, plastic is non-biodegradable, so it will not rot.
4. Stay away From Conventional Detergents in the Wild
When hiking or camping in natural habitats, please observe safety measures. One of these would be not using detergents and soaps. Such substances contain harsh chemicals, yet one cannot control how far they go. There is a possibility that the chemicals may be washed into drinking points and affect animals.
The detergents can also destroy the vegetation around if you are not careful. If you must hand wash, consider using nut soaps and other fully-organic substitutes that still get the job done with minimal side effects.
5. Reuse and Recycle
In the spirit of minimizing wastage, consider reusing or repurposing most of the items. For instance, you could use containers from items to pack some of the things you need rather than throw them away. Alternatively, keep the packages and drop them at a recycling center instead of disposing of them in the wild.
Sometimes, glass, metallic, and plastic refuse negatively affect the lifestyle of animals in their natural habitats. When buying items for use, be sure to pick easy to recycle or reuse. If possible, go for items that are not single-use. If you can utilize it for more than one purpose, you will have to carry less and, in turn, dispose of less. In the end, the environment ends up with less refuse.
6. Take Care of Your Items
One of the worst things during hiking is the loss of gears and items. Unfortunately, these items often find themselves in the wild with no use. As a hiking enthusiast, you may have to replace whatever you lost to continue enjoying your hiking experience.
Besides wasting resources since most hiking gear is expensive; you also contribute to more wastage since more resources will be used to create the replacement. When people take care of their items, there is less wastage. The environment benefits more with less wastage both directly and indirectly.
7. Do Not Leave Traces
It is always easy to tell where a team of hikers and campers were based on the trace they leave behind. Unfortunately, it is not always positive. Whether they do it ignorantly or not, it is never good for the environment to leave items behind. Adventure seekers should be advised to leave everything as they found.
While not many stop to think about the natural habitats, the reality is that these spaces belong to animals that live naturally in the wild. When hikers and campers leave items behind, they introduce foreign and unnatural items that could affect the natural species way of life. Once you have a great time, make sure to leave no trace of your presence. Try your best to restore the place to how you first found it when you first visited. No one should notice that someone was around.
8. Respect Prohibited Areas and Hike Off-season
There is a reason why some areas are marked off. These could be crucial natural breeding sites that need to be protected. ANy interference has the potential to cause a species to go into extinction. Do not venture deep into restricted areas because of this. What’s more, some natural habitats may be unsafe, and ignoring warning signs could spell doom.
Relevant organizations responsible for protecting natural habitats have good reasons not to allow human interference in all wild areas. Understand that there is a good reason for this and be supportive. To offer even more support, consider hiking during off-seasons less crowded. Do not be one of those people who insist on peak season tourism as this interferes with the natural order of things and could scare animals away from their natural habitats. Hiking during the low season is also more peaceful and rewarding.
Knowing when to hike is essential, especially if you are keen on protecting your environment. Eco-friendly hiking does not have to be complex or expensive. Consider doing natural things such as those that promote the wellbeing of the natural inhabitants of the space you are hiking. Sometimes it is as simple as not going too close.
Author bio: Emma Wilson is a content specialist with a focus on health and wellness.