These days, more people are making sustainable lifestyle choices in the interest of the planet and future generations. These sustainable lifestyle choices can applied to hiking outside! Hiking sustainably is all about embracing your surroundings, respecting the environment and its inhabitants, while following the leave no trace principles. Doing what's best for the places we love to visit benefits everyone who recreates in the outdoors. That's why, we have some tips that will make you an eco-warrior the next time you're out on the trail!
Choose The Right Trail
Many trails, especially in our National Parks, have been so overused that they are being destroyed. When possible, choose hiking trails that are less used. This will allow a more pleasant hiking experience (with less people/ crowds), while helping to preserve other populated trails.
Wear Eco-Friendly Skin Products
Chemical sunscreens and bug repellents can wreak havoc on the environment. If you´re planning on jumping on a lake, river, waterfall or any water source, then choose paraben, octinoxate and oxybenzone free skin products. The environment (and your skin) will thank you!
Choose Gear From Sustainable Companies
Your adventure gear might not have an immediate impact on the trail but it has a huge impact on your carbon footprint. Choose your outdoor gear and products from companies who have strong sustainable business practices. Backpacker's Pantry is committed to its sustainable business practices such as providing carbon neutral shipping, donating 1% of daily sales to 1% For The Planet, and operating a 100% solar powered facility. Learn more about what Backpacker's Pantry is doing to reach carbon neutrality here.
Make Greener Transport Options
Lower your carbon footprint by taking alternative forms of transportation to your hiking trailhead. Walk, bike, take the bus, or share a Lyft! This will help you avoid crowded parking lots, too.
Bring a Bag To Collect Trash
Packing out what you take with you on the trail is essential to preserve wild places. But, as more folks recreate in the outdoors, more waste is being left behind. To be a true eco-warrior, and to get some good karma points, pick up trash along the way!
Stick To The Trails
It's important to stay on trail to lessen the disruption of the ecosystem. While it can be tempting to wander, you can endanger the wildlife, the environment and yourself.
Think Carefully About Fires
A staggering 90% of wildfires in the US are started by humans. Every year wildfires worsen and the more wildfires there are, the less time we get to spend outside in the areas that we love to adventure in.
In general, it's best to skip building a fire unless you need to or are in a fire designated area. Most public campsites and picnic zones already have fire regulations in place, so be certain you read them. If you need to cook food, opt for a portable cooking stove.