Everyone loves hiking, but this long-standing outdoor tradition has a dirty little secret. We'll just come right and say it... sometimes even us nature-lovers don't do GOOD by the great outdoors. Hiking, especially in popular areas or places of ecological significance can do harm.
That's why we got together with our friends from GOOD Travel to share 3 Top Tips for ethical hiking! Let's get it on...
1) No garbage left behind
If it comes in with you, it should go out with you. Whether you're going for a short hike or a lengthy trek, make sure you're prepared to remove any trash, litter, or garbage you bring in.
Our favorite hacks:
- Trade those water bottles for a camelback. Mother nature says thanks!
- Line your backpack with a reused plastic bag. Disposing garbage in your mobile trash can won't be nearly as icky.
For extra GOOD karma points, pick up any non-biodegradable debris along the way.
2) Trail-blazers beware
Yeah, yeah. We know everyone likes to get their Jacques Cousteau on once in a while by blazing a new trail or getting off the beaten path. But, all that stick-figure signage is there for a reason! By indulging your inner explorer, you can actually contribute to the degradation and erosion of fragile ecosystems.
The only hack is to stay on the track.
3) GOOD vibes only, please
Your dream destination is another man's backyard. Simple as it sounds, it's important to recognize that as a traveler, you're a guest. You know someone messing with your home turf is no bueno, so as the old adage goes, treat others as you want to be treated.
Top tips for not being "that" tourist:
- Respect the land - clean up after yourself
- Respect the wildlife - it's called WILDlife for a reason
- Respect the local people - trust us, selfies with unsuspecting strangers is never ok
Shout out to our friends at GOOD Travel for sharing their responsible hiking know-how with us. See their blog on ethical hiking for more info and top tips. #GOODTravel.
GOOD Travel is working to make travel better. Led by sustainable tourism gurus, this tight-knit travel community can help you put together culturally sensitive and environmentally friendly trips that change your life, and the lives of those around you for GOOD.