There are more than 150 long distance hiking trails in the United States totaling more than 74,000 miles. There are thousands of shorter hiking trails spread across the country as well. If you are one of the more than 43 million hikers that take the trails across the U.S. every year, you understand the importance of preserving nature while on the trail. Here are a few of the best ways to preserve nature while hiking.
· Stay on the trail. While stepping slightly off the trail may seem harmless, it does extensive damage. You crush flora and you damage plant roots. Other hikers will follow suit, and then before you know it, the trail is widened and there are extra trails cut through the backcountry. There will be washouts and damage caused by erosion.
· Take only photographs. Don’t pick flowers, take rocks, tree limbs or sticks, and don’t dig up plants while enjoying the trail. Leave everything as you find it, so you don’t disrupt the habitat of the animals that make their home there and, also, so future visitors can also enjoy it.
· Stay hydrated. You should make sure you take along your own water in a high-quality reusable water bottle. Plastic water bottles are filling up landfills and oceans. Don’t contribute to the problem. BPA-free water bottles can serve you well for years to come.
· Choose environmentally friendly manufacturers when you are purchasing gear and clothing for hiking. You want to get high-quality products that wills serve you long-term while the manufacturer also took environmental standards into consideration.
· Don’t leave any trash behind. If you have trash, take it out with you and dispose of it properly. If you come across trash that others left behind, you should take it to dispose of as well.
· Wash your hiking gear, clothing, boots, and even yourself after every hike and before you head out on the next journey. It is easily to transport insects, seeds, and other miniscule things from one area to another. You could easily transfer seeds into an area where the plants are non-native or carry disease into an area. These can cause serious problems in the long-term.
· Keep your distance and keep a lookout. Remember you are visiting the home of wildlife. Don’t get too close to animals regardless of whether they are small creatures like chipmunks or squirrels or large animals such as deer or elk. Don’t make the animals feel intimidated.
· Eat locally. After your hike, you should choose a local sustainable restaurant that serves up locally grown, natural foods. This is healthier and much more environmentally friendly.
When you are attentive, and do your part, you can preserve nature for the long haul.
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.