7 eco-friendly tips for hikers
31 Jan 2019
Hiking in our great outdoors makes you more aware of everything out there and how vital it is for us to cherish and protect it. But even when you’re walking in the woods, there’s lots of things you can do to pitch in. From what you take with you to what you wear, here’s our top tips for lovers of the land and how you can enjoy a low-impact hike and continue to tread lightly on our beautiful earth.
1. Leave no trace behind
There’s nothing less appealing than finding rubbish out on the trail. So make sure you don’t leave anything behind (not even a banana peel!) and that you pack a rubbish bag with you to take any of your recyclables and rubbish back out. Do a good deed and pick up any litter you may find along the way.
2. Take real food with you
Ready-made meal packs are tempting but not always the eco-friendliest option. Try making your own food to take with you so you can minimise food miles and decrease packaging waste. Homemade muesli bars, hard boiled eggs, hummus wraps and even hot soup in a thermos, for shorter day hikes are all good alternatives to store bought conveniences.
Tip: A pre-made haloumi quinoa salad with raisins and a few garnishes keeps well on a big hike – it’s healthy, filling and a bit of gourmet goodness on the go. Complete with a scroggin mix filled with nuts, dried fruit and dark chocolate. Doesn’t everything taste better up in the hills?
3. Do your homework
Before you head out on a hike, it’s good to do a little homework. Read up on the rules of the trail like where to set up camp or pay fees, and if there is one - make sure you sign the log book. It’s also important to be aware of any hazards out there and keep an eye on any track closures or river crossings. Know before you go so you can make informed decisions - the local Department of Conservation centre has the best information, so pack right, be a responsible hiker and stay safe.
4. Reuse to reduce
Using reusable water bottles is an easy way to do reduce waste - there are even collapsible, foldable water bottles available that can pack down when empty to save space in your pack.
Remember though that there are other reusable items you can take on a hike – eco-friendly beeswax food wraps are taking the world by storm and easy enough to DIY. A great alternative to using cling wrap, these are super handy for hikes or for everyday use at home. You can also pack your necessities in reusable toiletry bottles for your next adventure or travel.
5. Dress right
Eco-friendly thinking and being begins way before your hike. When you’re getting your gear ready, even down to what you’ll wear, you can still contribute towards sustainability. Remember that there are lot of options available out there so choose eco-friendly brands that makes minimising their environmental footprint a priority. Opting for long-lasting sustainable clothing produced in ethical working conditions is something you can definitely feel good about while exploring the great outdoors.
6. Make it personal
There’s plenty of eco-friendly personal products available that you can use on your hike that are effective and good for our earth. From sunscreen, to bug spray, deodorants and even essential oils that you can use as natural remedies on the go, there’s a range of personal care items that you can use to keep your well-being in check.
7. Respect the land
As tempting as it is to pick flowers along the way, it’s better to leave things as they are, as nature intended. You can still dance like no one’s watching, sing like no one’s listening, forest bathe to your heart’s content – but it’s best to take only memories with you and leave no trace behind. Remember to tread lightly in the physical sense of the word and mind any little critters that may cross your path. New Zealand is precious so when you’re out there, do your bit to protect and guard it. Watch the Tiaki Promise video now.