Besides me, who else on the trail has hiked past litter? Ugh. It can completely ruin the hike.
Right when you feel as if you are in the middle of nowhere and one with nature, you look down to find a bright white used Kleenex laying on the dirt ground. Or a plastic water bottle. Or a Circle-K cup. Or candy wrappers. Or a variety of these items all scattered around. Nothing can take you out of the feeling of being in nature than seeing litter along the trail.
I can’t understand why people would litter in the first place, but then especially while on a hike.
Along the Phoenix hiking websites and trail signs you may have noticed signs informing hikers of the “Leave No Trace” policy. This policy is exactly how it sounds. Leave No Trace that you were ever there.
Keep nature wild, right?! Right.
So, when hiking it’s important to stay on the trail and take nothing but pictures. Even rocks that you find along the trail. You should just keep them there.
Any trash or items that you bring with you on the trail should be leaving with you as well. Typically there will be a trash can near the trailhead, so that you won’t have to carry your trash too far.
Leave No Trace, also means to leave the wildlife alone. If you spot an animal…awesome! But, keep it at that. Just watch them. Do not approach them or leave food for them. This disrupts their natural habitat.
There are some awesome hiking groups out there that form events to pick up the trash along the trail. Let me tell you, it’s amazing to see how much trash they collect while out there. If interested you can check out this page on Keep Nature Wild’s site and look for clean-up opportunities near you.
Or you can always form your own group or individually pick up litter while your hiking. I think I might just keep a plastic bag in my pack, just for this reason.
So, while I know the readers of this post are likely the one’s to never to litter in nature, please send this on to others who may not be as informed.