Traveling as a backpacker is something special. Many students who love going light call themselves, backpackers. The first thing every backpacker should learn is how not to leave any traces. Young people must do their best not to impact our environment. Our goal is to leave wilderness spots for many decades to come.
These days, the number of students backpackers who choose to travel to nature grows every year. Ecotourism is on the pick of its popularity. However, this type of tourism can impact on wild animals and plants, not in a positive way. That is why it is so critical for young people to understand how they can minimize damage to wild areas.
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The guideline how not to leave traces while backpacking will help you focus on the ways of reducing our harmful impact in the wild nature. Do not think that you do not impact the environment. We all do, and that is why the following rules should become your personal commitment.
Prepare your backpacking trip in advance
The first thing you have to do is to plan your backpacking trip. By preparing your trip correctly, it will be easier to reduce the unexpected situations arising. A proper plan is the guarantee to have an enjoyable trip, fulfill your goals, and increase the level of safety. It is essential to check the principal regulations for the place you are going to visit. Consider how you want to cook your meals, is it allowed to make a campfire, and other similar questions. Prepare maps, guidebooks, check for online resources to learn about current conditions in the area. Check for water access points along your route. Be prepared for extreme weather conditions, hazards, and any kind of emergencies. Do not forget the first aid kit; plan your one-pot meals to reduce the impact on the land. You could also try a lightweight camping hammock for minimal environmental impact.
Choose durable surfaces
If you want to minimize the footsteps, which also leave a very lasting impact on our environment, you should travel on trails or hard packed surfaces. Avoid taking off-trail route shortcuts. If you plan camping, choose only established campsites. If you are exploring the area with no trails, you should stick to durable surfaces to minimize your damage. This will allow the pure area to recover faster. When it is possible you have to avoid walking on living vegetation. Choose rocks, dry grass, or hearty vegetation.
You should not leave any waste in the wilderness. Even waste from organic/eco materials will take years to recycle. There is also the risk that wild animals can alter the foraging habits. That is why you always pack your waste. Your meals should be repacked into plastic bags and carries out. By no means avoid burning your food. Clean your dishes far away from water sources. If you find trash left by others, pick it up. Do not become careless when it concerns our nature.
Take only photos, leave only your footprints
It is a famous saying among eco-activists. Do your best not to leave your mark on an area. Never take souvenirs. Never scratch rocks, carve trees. If you stay at the campsite, never build long-lasting structures. There is no need to bring anything back home from the wilderness, such as rocks, flowers, artifacts, bones, etc.
Minimize the impact of your campfire
Backpackers make a campfire to keep warm, to prepare meals, and also as the form of entertainment. Remember that it will leave lasting impacts on the environment. Use existing fire rings. Keep your fire as small as possible. Avoid adding fuel to the campfire long time before you go to sleep. Pick up the wood which is on the ground. Choose little pieces, which you can easily break by hand. When it is time to put the fire out, soak it with enough water. Check the ashes, which must be could.
Always respect wildlife, which is a fantastic place to observe. The main principle to appreciate nature is to reduce the amount of human interaction. Now you know the main rules and principles on how to backpack. By following them, you can enjoy wilderness places without leaving any harmful effects. Your commitment will help our wilderness areas remain beautiful and pure for decades. Spread this message among your friends, colleagues, and young people. This is the best investment and gift you can do for new generations. We are lucky to live on such a beautiful planet. This is our Home, and we have to protect it.