Hiking is an outdoor activity, consisting of walking around and exploring the nature in areas of unspoiled wilderness, generally on trails. Hiking that takes place off trails is usually called cross country hiking, bushhacking or bushwalking.Hiking & Other Touring.There are many other outdoor activities based on hiking. Hiking is often the only way to get to explore some wonderful places and possibly the best way to know nature.
It is better than a tour in a car because you are not intruded upon by engine noise, windows or dust and you really get to see what's around you.On the other hand, it also requires a proper physical training and knowledge, especially when done over difficult terrain or on long distances. You also need a backpack for food, water and equipment. Hikers are often caught in unsuitable weather and suffer mishaps. In some countries, they are required to pay in case they need a rescue.Hiking & the Environment.
Hikers often look for beautiful untouched environments to explore. These places are often very fragile and can accidentally be destroyed. Although one individual alone usually doesn't do much harm, the mass effect of a larger number of people is sometimes very harmful. For example, when a group of hikers gather wood to start a fire, they don't do much harm to the forest. However, when this happens for years and years, the area is stripped of important nutrients.Protected areas usually have specific rules to protect the environment.
If these rules are followed, the impact of hiking on the environment is significantly reduced. Such rules include forbidding camping outside especially designated areas, wood fires and imposing a certain number of hikers each day.Some hikers share the philosophy of leaving no trace. This refers to hiking in such a way that future hikers won't even notice the presence of previous humans. Those who believe in this obey certain rules even when they are not imposed by a legal authority.
Human waste is an important source of negative impact on the environment. They can contaminate watersheds and harm other hikers who pass by. You can prevent bacterial contamination by digging catholes 4 to 10 inches deep into the ground and covering them after use. To minimize the risk, you have to dig them at least 200 feet away from trails and water sources. Rare or endangered species are also an attraction for hikers. However, some of them are very sensitive to human presence, especially around or during mating season.
Hikers should be aware of these habits to reduce the risk of harming endangered species.One of the greatest risks associated with hiking is that of unintentionally starting a fire. This can be caused by an individual hiker as well and sometimes ends up by destroying large areas of woods. Following certain rules and setting up cooking devices can significantly reduce this risk.Every outdoor activity includes certain risks, even if you're not doing anything to hurt yourself or the environment. Risks such as bodily injury, metabolic disturbances or just getting lost are always there.
However, with proper precautions, hiking and other outdoor activities are a safe and enjoyable experience..Sue Taylor and her family are keen hikers and well aware of the environmental concerns associated with walking through unspoilt areas. For more information about hiking refer to http://www.hikingsiteonline.
By: Sue Taylor