Unfortunately, people are not always good stewards of our natural world. Overfishing and overhunting can disrupt a habitat's balance. Snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles are noisy and pollute. Mountain bikes and horseback riders can chew up the landscape. Even hiking and camping leave their mark. In short, people should love the environment, but not smother it.
The following are a few guidelines that every outdoor enthusiast should endeavor to follow while enjoying the best that nature has to offer.
Camping or hiking responsibly requires knowing the environment that you'll be occupying – marked trails, designated campgrounds, animals you may encounter, and more. Be prepared!
If you're hiking in a muddy area, it's easy to create secondary paths as you try to sidestep the wet stuff. Avoid this by walking on rocks or logs. If you have no other choice, stay on the designated trail and walk through the mud. Use an existing campsite. Don't create a new campsite when you can use an existing one.
Most areas have rules about how big your campfire can be. You can minimize your fire by using smaller pieces of wood.
Leave your campsite clean for the next group.
Pack your food in reusable, collapsible containers instead of taking along disposable boxes and cans.
Aside from the fact that some animals can hurt you, you could also disrupt mating or nesting seasons. Feeding wildlife is always a bad idea. Once wild animals associate food with humans, a dangerous situation is created for both groups.