Spending time outdoors provides a chance to detox from the struggles of everyday life and helps relieve all the stresses that come with it. But we need to make sure that we take care of the trails and campsites that we visit or explore. Outdoor enthusiasts should have a deep love for the outdoors and a desire to preserve it. Here at Trekology, we love to help people get outdoors and explore the wilderness. After all, there’s nothing better than being outdoors and living outside the realm of Wi-Fi. And it is our job to make sure that we promote proper outdoor ethics and raise awareness about sustainable travel. We strongly believe in the Leave No Trace principles and encourage everybody to practice them.
Whether you are camping for the first time or trying to act more responsibly while hiking, it is very important to follow these 7 Leave No Trace principles.
With a little planning, leaving no trace becomes simple. One of the most crucial aspects of camping or hiking responsibly is planning ahead and preparing well in advance. Not only will you be able to do no harm to the environment but you will also limit the risks. You have to do extensive research for that. Before you leave home, take some time out to plan your route. Research the trails, get a good map of the camping area, and familiarize yourself with the landmarks. Include a rough estimate of the time it would take to reach your final destination. This way you’ll even be able to avoid encountering wild animals and other threats.
One of the most crucial aspects of camping or hiking responsibly is to choose a safe location and campsite. Limit the risks you need to take by picking the right location. You have to do extensive research for that. Look for campsites on flat and even terrains with no presence of wild predators and poisonous plants. It’s best to avoid places that have too many bad reviews online. Don’t forget to obtain necessary permits that may be required for camping in that location. Try and look for a site with reliable reception if possible.
What do you do once you’re about to leave your campsite and head back home? Most will simply pack their gear and equipment and then just leave. But that’s not how it should be done. You should bring a few bags and separate your waste so that you can put them away in a more sustainable manner. Don’t put all your waste in one bucket. Separate things that can be recycled. After all, recycling is the hallmark of sustainable living.
This one is super easy. See something cool? Take a picture, put it back. In certain areas, it’s illegal to remove objects like rocks or tree bark. Leave everything the way you found it, and never make permanent alterations to trails or campsites unless explicitly directed by a trail crew. If it’s cool enough for you to want to take home with you, then it’s cool enough for someone else to enjoy it.
Let’s keep this one simple too. Campfires cause long-lasting damage so you can't just do it anywhere you like. You can only make a campfire if there is a designated fire pit and no fire ban in effect. Gather wood from a wide area and only use scraps from already dead and downed trees. And remember to keep your fires small and in control. Many campers forget to put out the campfire before leaving. Campfires can cause wildfire if they are not put out completely. So, it is your responsibility to extinguish campfire that you started.
Before hitting the trail, check online to find information about the wildlife found on the trail. It’s your own responsibility to practice wildlife safety. Observe wildlife from a distance and do not follow or approach them. Never ever feed animals…. EVER. The wilderness is the animals’ home and it deserves respect. They need enough space to maintain their natural behavior and may attack if provoked. It will be a much more enjoyable experience for everyone if you keep your distance and just take a few pictures.
It is safe to assume that most of us go hiking to escape the hectic city lifestyle and be close to Mother Nature. So, it can feel downright frustrating when you hear someone yelling or playing loud music on the trail. Trust me, nobody wants to hear your collection of latest rap songs or you shouting lewd jokes to your friends. Talking loudly is considered impolite and hikers should avoid it as much as possible. It’s especially rude to blast music from a Bluetooth speaker in your backpack. Use headphones instead. Or you could just talk and not play music at all. Basically, it’s an etiquette issue if hikers don’t see anything wrong with playing loud music. And because it is often extremely quiet out in the wilderness, even low-level music can annoy others at great distances.
These 7 Leave No Trace principles to apply to all people, including men, women, and children. Do remember them and try to follow them and pass them on to new hikers/campers. Being mindful of how you spend time outdoors ensures that our effect on the surroundings is positive Lastly, when you go on a hike, always let someone you trust know where you’re going, who you’re with, and when you expect to be back.
Have any questions about these Leave no Trace guidelines? Do let us know in the comments down below.