9 tips for preserving nature while on the trail

Guest post by Personal Injury Help

If you enjoy the great outdoors, you probably partake in hiking. According to the American Hiking Society, more than 34 million hikers took to America’s trails in 2018. Every hiker has a responsibility to preserve nature while hiking, and every hiker can make a difference with these simple tips.

Photo by Holly Mandarich via Unsplash.
  • Don’t go off the trail. You don’t want to crush foliage or damage the roots of plants, and straying just a little bit from the trail can do just that. Plus, odds are that another person will come along, see your footprints and stray a bit too. Eventually, the trail will widen, contributing to washouts and erosion.
  • Don’t leave any trash. We all know littering is bad, so why would you do it in the forest? Even when no one is looking, it’s important you always take trash with you (including fruit peels and cores!) and dispose of it properly in a trash container — not on or near the trail. If you come across trash that someone else has left behind, do the right thing and take it out for disposal as well.
  • Don’t approach wildlife. When you’re hiking, you’re on their turf. Show some respect and do the right thing: keep your distance and stay on the lookout for forest critters. You may just encounter smaller creatures, such as squirrels, rabbits, or chipmunks, but you could come across larger animals, such as deer, elk, or bears.
  • Only take photos and memories. Don’t pick flowers, dig up plants, cut off limbs, or take rocks or shells. Leave everything just as it was when you arrived. This way, others can enjoy what you’ve enjoyed too.
  • Take along water (and better yet, bring it in a reusable water bottle!). Even if you’re not thirsty now, you may be later and you won’t regret having water on hand. And if you’re bringing a reusable water bottle (one-use plastics are so out of style!), you’ll want to choose a BPA-free, heavy-duty version that you can use time and time again. While most one-use plastic bottles are recyclable, our landfills and oceans are being overtaken by them. Don’t contribute to the problem.
  • Be sure to make your own snacks, such as granola or trail mix, to take along. You can use local ingredients. This will cut down on cost, waste, and packaging. Choose reusable storage containers for your snacks, so you don’t have to worry about trash.
  • Always clean yourself and your gear after every hike. You could easily transfer seeds, insects, or pathogens from one location to another. This can destroy plant life, spread disease, and cause devastation to areas where it wouldn’t have otherwise gone.
  • When you purchase hiking gear and clothing, shop around and try choosing environmentally friendly brands. Buying sustainable goods locally can have major, positive effects on your local economy and environment, as well as the rest of the world.
  • Protect water supplies. Our water sources need protection, so if you are washing dishes, your body, or your clothes outdoors, always use biodegradable, camp-safe soap, and whenever possible, your own water supply away from lakes and other waterbodies.

With the right attentiveness and care, hikers can work together to preserve nature while out on the trail.

This article was provided by www.personalinjury-law.com, an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice. It is intended for informational use only.

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