The best hiking trails in Montana exhibit the wild and rugged nature of the state. There’s plenty to explore, from breathtaking hikes in Glacier National Park to wildlife trails in Yellowstone. Along these meandering paths, you’ll encounter alpine lakes, wild rivers, high-mountain meadows, and a variety of wildlife, all of which are unique to Big Sky Country. With so much flora and fauna to preserve, it’s essential to be mindful of our interactions with nature and its surroundings.
Families all over the country are engaging in camping and hiking as enjoyable and healthy activities. Giving yourself and your kids a chance to connect with nature and relax is good for the mind, as well as the body. But people often disrespect the trails and defile them while out enjoying nature. Our callous actions towards nature have extensive and long-term environmental impacts. Preserving nature for present and future visitors by being particularly vigilant and proactive is the right thing to do. It will also be a great teachable moment for your kids, too!
Following are some of the best methods for protecting nature while enjoying your hike:
Leave No Trash
We don’t want a trail of wrappers and food remnants behind you while exploring the great outdoors. Although it should go without saying, sometimes food waste, pet waste, or other items are left along the trail by disrespectful hikers. Always carry a backpack or other satchel so you can pick up any trash you may have and carry it with you until you find a proper way to dispose of it.
If you don’t want to carry a backpack, take advantage of the Jelt Belt Black Friday sale and clip on a planet-friendly elastic belt to secure some recyclable trash bags. Bonus points for picking up leftover trash by inconsiderate hikers!
Bring Your Drinks And Snacks
Adding to the previous point, carrying your own food and water will help reduce your trash. Making your granola or trail mix in reusable containers is a fantastic approach to saving trash and spending less money.
Leaving behind unrecyclable plastic waste can find its way to problematic consequences. Every year, millions of tons of plastic water bottles end up in landfills and the ocean. You must carry water in a reusable bottle, so you don’t add to the issue. Refill it at dedicated water spots, but don’t ever refill your water bottle in a river or stream. They may look inviting and clean, but giardia is present in wild water sources.
Prevent Forest Fires
With campfires, exercise caution. It is relaxing to spend an evening by the fire, but make sure to keep it contained and safe. Build your fire on a rock or ashes bed, and ensure the bed’s border is well constructed. Once you’re done, ensure the fire is completely put out by pouring water on it until the embers are completely extinguished.
Where You Camp Is Important
Make sure to set up camp in a designated campsite if you intend to stay overnight. You will be ticketed and removed in the middle of the night by the forest ranger if you set up camp anywhere you please.
Stick to The Trail
There’s a reason the authorities have demarcated a trail. Sticking to the designated route keeps you from stamping on and destroying foliage. Moreover, if you tread off the path, others might follow and immolate your bad choices, seriously harming the area and even broadening the current path. Carving an unspecified path might make it susceptible to landslides if you’re higher up in the mountains.
Don’t Harm Nature
Never save rocks or plants as souvenirs. You could end up harming the ecosystem by removing naturally occurring objects. Instead, take plenty of pictures as memories and head back whenever you can to explore more.