Five Ways to Preserve Nature While Hiking

Hiking trips can be a great way to escape the busyness of everyday life. Whether you hike alone or with a loved one, the peace and serenity of the great outdoors can be exceptionally therapeutic. As we hike, however, we must keep the Earth in mind and make efforts to protect natural resources. Here are five tips for preserving nature while hiking:

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

  • Bring a reusable water bottle. When setting out for a hike, you should always bring water with you to avoid dehydration—especially if you are hiking in high temperatures. However, instead of bringing plastic water bottles with you, try to bring a reusable water bottle of your own. Plastic water bottles already consume our planet’s oceans and landfills, so don’t be part of the problem! 
  • Stay on the trail. As you hike, make sure you stick to the trails that have been set aside for people to walk on. If you stray from the trail, this can have harmful consequences for nature and wildlife. Trails are put into place for a reason: you will not damage any natural resources by walking on them. However, once you step off of it, you will likely tread over plants and destroy them. This not only takes away from the beauty around you but also destroys a potential source of food for wild animals.
  • Do NOT take from the environment. Many people like to collect tokens from their trips as memories. Please refrain from taking any piece of nature home with you. This includes rocks, shells, feathers, sticks, flowers, and any other object that belongs to the Earth. You don’t want to take away something that makes nature beautiful, so leave it in its place for other hikers to enjoy.
  • Do NOT litter. If you pack food for your hiking trip, make sure to pick up after yourself. If you bring a dog with you, be sure to clean up any pet waste. When you pack food for your trip, try to keep animals and the environment in mind. Consider packing food in reusable containers, rather than plastic or paper bags. If left behind, not only can this waste be consumed by animals and harm them, but it also can ruin the beauty of the natural scenery.
  • Be careful with fire. If you choose to make a fire during your hike, make sure to take caution. It can be fun to take a break and enjoy S’mores, but a fire can quickly spread and grow. In severe cases, this can lead to a full-blown forest fire. If your campsite is in a location that is dry and hot, do not attempt to start a fire unless you find a fire pit available to you.

If you choose to go on a hike, make sure you are kind to the environment. Keep these tips in mind as you explore, and share them with friends so we can all protect our planet together! 

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