On the list of eco-friendly, family-friendly activities hiking definitely falls in amongst the top.
The gear you need can be absolutely minimal and aside from your fuel to get to the trailhead you aren’t burning through many of the earth’s resources.
While you can certainly commend yourself for engaging in such a low footprint activity (and did we mention inexpensive and healthy, and fulfilling, and fun) you can incorporate some added eco-friendly ways into your hiking adventures!
How to have an eco-friendly hike
- Purchase whatever gear you need second hand. Scour thrift stores, check Craigslist, go to consignment shops and find gently used items at a fraction of the cost!! Ask a friend to borrow their gear. Avoid purchasing things brand new if you don’t need to. This will be a lot kinder to your wallet!
- If you do buy brand new, try and find eco-friendly brands like Patagonia that aim to use organic materials and adhere to positive environmental and humanitarian practices!
- Pack out MORE than you pack in. While you’re searching around to make sure your group hasn’t left anything behind try combing around another section to make sure there hasn’t been anything left behind that you can dispose of.
- Bring snacks that aren’t heavily packaged. Aim to use reusable packaging or containers.
- Take reusable water bottles with you.
- Bring a trash bag! You know when you forget your reusable bags in the car when you’re grocery shopping and get given those plastic ones that you now don’t know what to do with? They make great garbage bags, along with bread bags, potato bags, etc.
- Use eco-friendly bug sprays and sunscreen. This is especially important if you’re swimming. Harsh chemicals from sunscreens come off in the water and affect the ecosystem
These are all great strategies for having a great eco-friendly hike! By following a few (or all) of these suggestions you guarantee that your favorite spots will remain beautiful for everyone to enjoy!
What are your favorite ways to be eco-friendly when you’re hitting the trails?