Hiking Etiquette: Leave No Trace

Hiking has become a popular activity since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic. Regardless of the merits of hiking, the surge of hiking activities result in a rise of concern of the detrimental environmental impact associated with the activity, including extremely packed hiking trails, littering, hill fire, and wildlife intervention. Given the situation, Green Sense highly recommends all of the public members to adhere to the “Hiking Etiquette” to achieve our goal of “Leaving No Trace”.

The Seven Principles of “Leave No Trace” are as follow:

1. Plan ahead and be prepared

  • Prior to hiking, conduct research concerning outdoor knowledge and skills needed

  • Be well planned and ready for an offline map to reduce risks

  • Protect nature to get back to its resilience state from not going to highly concentrated trails

  • Prevent food waste and to bring sufficient food and water

2. Use the constructed trails only

  • Do not create your own trail for excitement because this practice would destroy the vegetation cover and lead to surface runoff

  • Use constructed hiking trails, try not to take shortcuts in order to minimize the distrubance to natural environments

  • When there is no constructed trail, step on places that are more stable, such as rocks, hay, and stones

3. Picking up Trash

  • Bring your own container for food and water. Do not bring food with excessive packaging just for your own convenience

  • Take away your own trash and do not leave them in the wild

  • Do not leave food waste in nature even they would be decomposed. Food exposed under the sun would result in hygienic concerns

  • Bring a bag and a pair of gloves for picking up trash along the way under hygienic conditions

4. Leave the environment as the way it is

  • Do not pick any flora in nature

  • Do not create unnecessary marks in the environment

  • Not to alter the habitat and cultural environment in a local context

  • Do not take away anything

5. Avoid the use of fire

  • Keep away from setting fire in places other than the suggested area, fire would leave permanent marks on the land

  • Avoid smoking. Cigarette butts could potentially lead to forest fire that would harm plants and animals

  • Prevent setting fire and use high efficient cookery and lighting tools, in order to lower the impacts to the environment

6. Respect Wildlife

  • Starting off not to feed animals to leave their living habits unchanged

  • Not to hurt, approach, or intervene with wildlife in nature

7. Be a considerate individual to other hikers

  • Be polite to other hikers

  • Avoid occupying a resting area for a long period of time

  • Let hikers heading uphill go first if two individuals or groups are walking into one another from two directions

  • Keep your voice low to ensure a quiet environment in the wild


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Green Sense also hosts shoreline cleaning and other outdoor activities occasionally.