Hiking | do you know "leave no trace" principles?

“Leave no trace” (short form is LNT) is an international movement to protect the environments by teaching people how to enjoy it responsibly. Preserving the beauty of mother nature allows you and your future generations to enjoy the bliss of nature hiking sustainably.


Follow these 7 leave no trace principles to make sure you are a responsible hiker with the deepest respect for the environment:

Leave no trace principles #1: plan ahead and prepare

Planning ahead for your hike may seem obvious. Yet many hikers skip this step. Always check the regulations and features of the places you will be going through. Check the weather forecast and equip yourself accordingly. Take the minimum amount of packaging to minimise waste. Also try to avoid peak visiting times on certain trails.

leave no trace while hiking - Decathlon

Leave no trace principles #2: use durable surfaces

It’s always tempting to go ‘off-piste’ where no one has walked before. But that can alter the beauty of virgin territory. Where possible, choose existing trails, rocky slabs, dry grass and snow depending on the season. But watch out for cracks and fissures!

Set up your basecamp more than 70 metres away from lakes and rivers to protect the banks. Do not alter the site in any way. If the site is not suitable, choose a different one a few metres further away. Keep your encampment to a minimum. Finally, walk in small groups of 4 to 6 people maximum, so you are not like a bulldozer running across the path.

leave no trace - Decathlon

Leave no trace principles #3: whatever you carry, bring it back

Always carry a plastic bag as you hike to keep trash.  With all the things you carry - wrappers, biscuit/chips packets, food items, etc.,, don't leave them behind on the trail. Carry them back with you.

You can try to carry a bottle/water bladder and avoid buying bottled water.  

Leave no trace principles #4: leave what you find intact

When you find beautiful flowers on the trail, only touch them with your eyes. The same goes for human constructions: preserve our heritage so that our children and our children’s children can enjoy the same landscape.

Leave no trace hiking -Decathlon

Leave no trace principles #5: minimise fire impacts

After a long, hard day you deserve a good meal. Make sure you keep campfires to a minimum as much as possible. They leave indelible traces on the landscape! Use a small camping stove instead and always check if fires are permitted. Only light a small fire and always disperse cold ashes after putting it out.


Leave no trace principles #6: respect wildlife

Always keep a safe distance from wildlife. Don’t forget that this is their home. And if you see stray wildlife, do not interfere. Their mothers can retrieve them with their highly developed sense of smell; if we touch them, our scent left on their bodies will distract the retrieval. Similarly, never feed them, because this alters their behavioural patterns and their ability to survive independently, putting them at risk from predators. Control your dog if he’s hiking with you. Finally, store your food properly to avoid attracting animals and losing your food supply: it’s a no-win situation. 


Leave no trace principles #7: be considerate to other users

You may not be alone when hiking. Be considerate to other hikers and make everyone’s walk more enjoyable by greeting them with a smile. Give way to hikers with a faster pace on trails.

Finally, enjoy the sounds of nature, and be mindful of keeping your volume down. Now you understand all these leave no trace principles, let’s practice on your next hiking trip.


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