Nothing compares to hiking in the mountains; the fresh and cool air, the smell of pine trees, the enchanting birdsongs, the breathtaking views. When backpacking, it is so easy to become one with the nature around you. Backpacking can effortlessly allow you to forget the stressors of daily life, especially during this time of the pandemic. And it is even more perfect when you are able to go on a trip with those closest to you. So, I invite you to escape to the mountains. You will not regret it. But before you go, here are some tips on how to make your backpacking trip more eco-friendly and sustainable.
Don’t forget that the only thing cooler than exploring our planet, is protecting it!
A Green Gear Up
To go on a backpacking trip, you will need appropriate equipment such as a tent, hiking shoes, and a backpacking backpack. So, look to buy from companies and manufacturers that care for the planet as much as you do. Most green products will come with tags that certify their sustainability. Make sure that you also shop from ethical companies that care for the fair and responsible treatment of their workers. Supporting those companies increases their production, and this helps protect our planet.
Another way to consciously gear up is to buy second-hand used equipment; after all, recycling reduces waste. And finally, make sure you buy eco-friendly essentials (such as toothpaste and soap) that will not harm the environment. Now you’re ready to hit the trails.
Wipe with Care
“When you gotta go, you gotta go.” This saying rings true in all places, even when you’re on the trail. Fortunately, now we can protect the planet even while we’re doing our business. Unlike regular toilet paper, bamboo toilet toilet paper is completely biodegradable, and since it is made from bamboo and not trees, it reduces deforestation. Also, it is softer to the touch than plain old toilet paper. So, make sure it is on your list.
Drink enough water while on your hike. It is really important to stay properly hydrated while backpacking. However, please ditch the plastic water bottles. Instead, buy a portable water filter straw. This straw allows you to drink filtered water directly out of natural water streams. From firsthand experience, I can tell you that there is nothing like drinking ice-cold water from a running river. You could also buy a reusable water bottle with a built-in filter. In the same way, you can fill it with water you encounter along the way and drink it once it is filtered. Protect the planet and lighten the load on your back (both literally and figuratively) by using any of these eco-friendly options.
Leave No Trace—Like, Seriously
Yes, you have probably heard it a thousand times. And that’s a good thing. It is important that we are constantly reminded that we must take care of the lands we explore. All trails and campsites we use must be left better than how we found them. This includes leaving no trash behind, respecting the flora and fauna, and being considerate of other explorers. Don’t forget we are guests in the outdoors, so we must behave as such.
One of the best things about being outdoors is building a campfire at night. However, it is important that you only burn firewood or dry branches you collect from the ground. Don’t harm the trees. And make sure that you do not burn anything that could contaminate the air such as trash. Also, once you’re done with your campfire, make sure you put it out completely to reduce the risk of starting a forest fire.
Don’t be Trashy
And lastly, please take your trash back with you. Please. Now, go out there and enjoy those trails!