Guest post by Rachel Gaffney
Best Ways To Preserve Nature While Hiking
Hiking is quickly becoming one of the most popular outdoor activities. It’s in the top five and getting more popular every year. More than 30 million people hike at least once during the year. That’s a lot of people walking on the same trails every year, and all that traffic can cause a lot of damage to the natural world. Hikers have a responsibility to try and protect the natural world while they are hiking to ensure that the natural world stays healthy and beautiful. Always do these five things when you’re hiking to do your part to preserve the natural world around you:
Bring Your Own Bottles
Always bring a refillable water bottle with you when you’re hiking. And bring snacks in reusable containers like reusable canvas bags. Plastic packaging is wasteful and bad for the environment. Avoid it whenever you can. If you don’t bring reusable containers with you at least make sure that you always take your trash with you when you leave the trail so you can dispose of it the right way. Don’t ever litter or throw trash on the ground.
Don’t Harass The Animals
You will most likely see animals when you’re hiking. You might see small animals like squirrels or rodents or larger ones like deer. Let them be. The animals that live in the natural world are wild and you shouldn’t approach them. Don’t offer them your food. Food designed for humans could make them sick. Admire them from a distance or take a photo with your cell phone but don’t get close to them or try to lure them over to you. That’s for your safety and theirs.
Dogs On Leashes Please
Hiking with dogs is a great way to spend an afternoon. And it’s a good way to get some quality outdoors time with your best furry friend. However, you should always keep your dog on a leash when you’re hiking. Dogs that aren’t on leashes can run after animals and scare or even kill them. Your dog could chase other hikers. Dogs also can dig up plants and grass, destroy shrubs, chew and scratch bark on trees, and wreak general havoc. Keep control of your dog at all times to protect the natural world around you.
Stick To The Trail
Walking off trail is one of the most destructive things you can do. The trails were created to protect the natural world as well as make it easier for hikers. Walking on the trail gives you an easier path through the natural world and it prevents the death of grass and plants in the area. If you leave the trail you also can cause the soil around the trail to loosen and erode, which cause a lot of damage over time.
Wash Your Boots
The seeds and dirt and bacteria that collects on your boots when you’re hiking can destroy other ecosystems. If you go for a hike in a different area you will leave those seeds and that bacteria in the new area, and that can cause invasive plants to grow. It can also spread diseases among trees and plants. Give your boots a good hosing after you hike so that you aren’t transferring the dirt between hiking sites.
This article was created Personal Injury Help (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, and it is intended for informational use only.