How to Trek With Less Impact
6 Steps to Minimising Your Trekking Footstep in the Mountains
Trekking is an excellent way to discover nature and explore the wild, natural wilderness that we are so privileged to experience. Follow these six simple steps next time youre hiking in the mountains to minimise your environmental impact and trek more responsibly.
1. Take Nothing But Photos, Leave Nothing But Footprints
Is this a clich and one which youve probably heard before? You bet. But, this is something without a doubt that we should practice and adhere to.
Trekking usually means getting beyond the infrastructure of modern life and exploring an area or region with an extremely fragile ecological environment. The flora and fauna that grow in these (often harsh) elements can take over a decade to grow just a few centimetres. Absentmindedly picking a wild flower because you think its pretty or taking a unique stone for your memories can easily cause irreversible damage.
2. Reuse Your Water Bottle
Plastic water bottles (easily available to buy) are not only devastating to the environment but are an absolute eyesore littered among the trails. When trekking, carry a water filter, or water purification tablets like Chlorine and Iodine to make your water safe to drink.
Water refilling stations, providing safe drinking water are also becoming more frequent along trekkers routes and alternatively you can always ask for your guesthouse to boil water for you.
3. Take Out What You Take In (And Also What Others Leave Behind)
Remote trekking regions often lack a sufficient and sustainable method to remove excess rubbish from these areas and in many instances it is simply burned, buried or left untouched on the ground.
While most would never even consider dropping a chocolate bar wrapper onto the ground, there are still some (a small minority!) who do this. Other less obvious bits of rubbish can end up on the trail too, like cigarettes or orange and banana peels which although biodegradable, still take a long time to break down.
Take out everything you brought in and take the time (even just 5 minutes) to clear any trash from the trail left by others.
4. Dont Use the Firewood!
Bring in an alternative fuel supply with you or stay in guesthouses that do not use firewood to heat the building or cook with. In tough mountain conditions (especially above the treeline and in the alpine) wood is a scarce and precious resource. Using it is unnecessary and will only further damage the surrounding environment.
5. Keep Water Sources Clean!
Rivers and streams found along the way may look like an inviting way to bathe, wash your laundry or clean dirty dishes and equipment, but often it is the only source of reliable drinking water in the area for local villagers, farm animals and wildlife.
Avoid contamination by using portable or collapsible water containers so that you can do these tasks well away from the fresh water source at least 50 metres!
Use further discretion when it comes to going to the toilet and ensure that you are at least 100 metres from the water. Dirty water and waste filtering through the soil is one of the quickest ways for rivers to become contaminated.
6. Stick to the Trails
While it may seem more adventurous to deter from the trail or quicker to take a shortcut, shedding the path can do irreversible damage. Getting off the beaten track can create erosion to the surrounding soil and long-term damage to a fragile environment.
Article By: Sarah Allard, Co-Founder, Lost Earth Adventures

Trekking is an excellent way to discover nature and explore the wild, natural wilderness that we are so privileged to experience. Follow these six simple steps next time youre hiking in the mountains to minimise your environmental impact and trek more responsibly.

1. Take Nothing But Photos, Leave Nothing But FootprintsIs this a clich and one which youve probably heard before? You bet. But, this is something without a doubt that we should practice and adhere to.

Trekking usually means getting beyond the infrastructure of modern life and exploring an area or region with an extremely fragile ecological environment. The flora and fauna that grow in these (often harsh) elements can take over a decade to grow just a few centimetres. Absentmindedly picking a wild flower because you think its pretty or taking a unique stone for your memories can easily cause irreversible damage.

2. Reuse Your Water BottlePlastic water bottles (easily available to buy) are not only devastating to the environment but are an absolute eyesore littered among the trails. When trekking, carry a water filter, or water purification tablets like Chlorine and Iodine to make your water safe to drink.

Water refilling stations, providing safe drinking water are also becoming more frequent along trekkers routes and alternatively you can always ask for your guesthouse to boil water for you.

3. Take Out What You Take In (And Also What Others Leave Behind)Remote trekking regions often lack a sufficient and sustainable method to remove excess rubbish from these areas and in many instances it is simply burned, buried or left untouched on the ground.

While most would never even consider dropping a chocolate bar wrapper onto the ground, there are still some (a small minority!) who do this. Other less obvious bits of rubbish can end up on the trail too, like cigarettes or orange and banana peels which although biodegradable, still take a long time to break down.

Take out everything you brought in and take the time (even just 5 minutes) to clear any trash from the trail left by others.

4. Dont Use the Firewood!Bring in an alternative fuel supply with you or stay in guesthouses that do not use firewood to heat the building or cook with. In tough mountain conditions (especially above the treeline and in the alpine) wood is a scarce and precious resource. Using it is unnecessary and will only further damage the surrounding environment.

5. Keep Water Sources Clean!Rivers and streams found along the way may look like an inviting way to bathe, wash your laundry or clean dirty dishes and equipment, but often it is the only source of reliable drinking water in the area for local villagers, farm animals and wildlife.Avoid contamination by using portable or collapsible water containers so that you can do these tasks well away from the fresh water source at least 50 metres!

Use further discretion when it comes to going to the toilet and ensure that you are at least 100 metres from the water. Dirty water and waste filtering through the soil is one of the quickest ways for rivers to become contaminated.

6. Stick to the TrailsWhile it may seem more adventurous to deter from the trail or quicker to take a shortcut, shedding the path can do irreversible damage. Getting off the beaten track can create erosion to the surrounding soil and long-term damage to a fragile environment.

Article By: Sarah Allard, Co-Founder, Lost Earth Adventures

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