Whoever moves in nature should also respect it and protect, preserve and repair existing damage to the extent possible. To what extent I do this myself and also expect from others who walk with me I would like to briefly explain here.
Some of these rules of conduct are inspired by the principles of “Leave no trace“, but have been designed by me for my needs.
Protect and Preserve
For me, protecting and preserving basically means actively experiencing nature without intervening in it, changing or damaging it and manifests itself in the following rules
- Do not leave any waste behind
Packaging, handkerchiefs, cigarette butts and so on and so forth…
Nothing is sadder than walking along a beautiful trail and coming across rubbish at every turn, so take your rubbish with you!
On every hike I have a few garbage bags with me in which I can transport the garbage that accumulates during the day to the next garbage can without dirtying my backpack.
Nobody should be too fine to collect garbage, even garbage that you didn’t create yourself, I’m planning special hikes where it’s just a matter of collecting existing garbage, maybe I’ll ask at Hillwalk Tours whether you can do something about it (garbage bags provided by the B&B in the morning, garbage disposal by the B&B where you arrive in the evening, small discounts on garbage collection hiking tours, merchandising or similar)
- Stay on the existing hiking trails
Hiking trails themselves are already an intervention in nature. To keep this procedure as small as possible, please stay on the trails.
Do not run directly to the right or left of the path because it is muddy, for example, so you only widen the path unnecessarily. A good hiking shoe can also remove mud and water and if that is not for you, hiking is generally not for you.
Don’t leave the paths to take a photo from another perspective, to get closer to a river bank or to climb rocks and trees because you disturb or destroy the flora and fauna that following hikers want to enjoy.
- Do not disturb wild animals and grazing animals
Observe wild animals only from a distance, do not follow or approach them.
Don’t feed animals. Feeding wild animals makes them sick and changes their natural behaviour, making them more vulnerable to predator attacks and other dangers.
Avoid migrations through areas of wild animals that are in the mating season or in the rearing season for young animals.
- Leave plants untouched
It should be taken for granted…
Don’t pick flowers, don’t tear plants from the ground, don’t break branches and don’t cut trees. You’re a guest in nature, act like one.
You are an ideal hiker if you leave nature behind as if you had never been there.
- Avoid noise
We already have enough noise in everyday life, so you should be able to enjoy the peace and quiet in nature! But not only for yourself and other hikers you should do without music, screaming or loud conversations, because animals are usually even more frightening than humans.
We don’t want to chase them out of your living space, we want to behave respectfully.
- Respect protected areas
Protected areas are designated areas where often special regulations apply, so it can be forbidden to carry animals with you or there is a line obligation for the same, even leaving the paths can be forbidden and many other things: Stick to it!
These prohibitions do not exist for fun but for very specific purposes, of course you can question them, but do not ignore and disregard them.
- Use public transport or carpool to get there
It makes no sense to meet with friends in nature, if everyone travels with their own car and contaminates them with it and under certain circumstances impairs the area more than necessary. Wherever possible, you should of course travel together with public transport. If this is not possible, carpool and protect the environment in general.
By the way, this is not only recommended for the journey to hiking, but for all distances you have to cover.