Hiking is a great way to stay fit if you’re not comfortable going to the gym and you want to spend more time outdoors. There are thousands of miles of hiking trails scattered throughout the country and many local communities are creating more trails for people to use. Hiking is currently one of the top four most popular outdoor activities. That’s great for the hikers who can reap the many benefits of hiking, but not so great for the environment. You can imagine how much strain millions of hikers can put on the natural world. So, when you go hiking make sure that you’re doing these five things to preserve nature while hiking:

Clean Up After Yourself

The best thing that you can do to preserve nature while hiking is take all your trash with you. Water bottles, food wrappers, food scraps, napkins, and any other things that you bring to the trail with you should leave with you. A shocking number of hikers think it’s fine to litter on the trail and it’s not. Don’t leave anything behind, even food scraps like banana peels or pieces of food that you think will just break down for composting. Leave nothing behind but footprints.

Share the Trail Safely

With millions of people hiking the trails are starting to get more crowded. You should always stay on the trail, but if you come across another hiker you can step off the trail to let them by at a safe distance. Just make sure that you get right back on the trail after they have passed. If you’re the one passing walk quickly and stay on the trail to get ahead of them. And watch out for animals crossing the trail too.

Don’t Be A Super Spreader

Did you know that your hiking boots pick up seeds and bacteria and all kinds of things when you’re hiking? They do. And if you don’t clean your boots you bring all those seeds and things to a new trail the next time that you hike. Bacteria can spread diseases among plants and trees. And seeds can cause invasive plants and trees to take root in areas where they shouldn’t be. Clean off your boots when you finish a hike so that you aren’t spreading seeds and diseases from one area to another.

Don’t Take Things

Picking a bunch of flowers or taking some vines to make things out of at home or grabbing some rocks for your porch or cutting a walking stick from a branch may not seem like a big deal. But imagine the impact on the natural world if 40 million people did that. It would destroy the environment. Leave all the things you find when you are hiking where you find them.

Avoid Shortcuts

Huge amounts of damage are done when hikers decide to try and create their own trail or shortcut. One person barging through the woods or fields can kill dozens of plants, uproot bushes and young trees, and scare animals away from their homes. Use the hiking trails that are already there for you and don’t take shortcuts through the natural world when you’re hiking.


This article was provided by 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.