There are a lot of reasons why hiking is one of the most popular outdoor sports. It’s easy to do, and almost anyone can do it. There’s no need for a lot of expensive equipment and you can access thousands of miles of hiking trails for free or for very low cost. The number of people hiking each year has steadily increased and the last estimate was that more than 40 million people went hiking last year. While that’s great for hikers, it’s not so great for the natural environment. People are the number one cause of the destruction of natural environments. If you like to hike and enjoy the outdoors do these things to make sure that you’re not damaging the environment when you’re hiking:
Take All of Your Trash
Hiking snacks are important. Many hikers bring healthy snacks like fruit because fruit is easy to carry and provides a good source of energy. But, they often leave behind apple cores, seeds, and other remains of their snacks thinking that they will naturally break down. But it takes a long time for food waste to break down and before it can totally decompose animals could eat that rotted fruit or the seeds left behind and get very sick or even die. Don’t leave any trash behind, even food trash.
Don’t Take Things
There are lots of very interesting and pretty thing to see when you’re hiking. Wildflowers, unique leaves, interesting shaped sticks or rocks, and many more cool things. But those items should be left in nature. Don’t take them home as souvenirs. If even half of the millions of people who hike every year took just one thing from the natural environment that entire ecosystem would be destroyed. You can snap photos of cool items instead of taking them with you.
Clean Your Boots Off
If you like to hike on different trails each time you hike it’s very important to clean off your boots between hikes. When you are hiking your boots will pick up soil that contains debris, bacteria, and the seeds of the area you were in and when you go somewhere new that debris gets transferred to the new place. If that soil contains harmful bacteria, or seeds that aren’t native to the area it can cause a lot of destruction in the new area. Take a few minutes to clean off your boots after a hike to prevent contaminating a different ecosystem.
Hiking trails are there to give you an easy and safe walking surface that won’t damage the natural environment. That’s why you need to stay on the trail when you’re hiking. Going off the trail to try and make your own shortcut means that you will kill grass, trample plants, break off bushes, and other devastation. You can avoid getting lost and getting in trouble by just staying on the trails that are provided for you. Keep a trail map with you so that you don’t get lost.
Dogs Should Be Leashed
If you’re going to brink your dog hiking with you keep your dog on a leash at all times so that your dog doesn’t eat grass, dig up the soft soil by the trails, or cause other havoc while you’re hiking.
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. Be sure to review your local hiking ordinances to ensure you hike safe and legally!