Several rules for proper behaviour outdoors

In the last few years there has been noticeably more interest in all forms of outdoor sports and recreation, particularly hiking, mountain biking and alpinism. This resulted in greater number of visitors to popular excursion spots around the country. After several months in a global pandemic, closed in our homes, we started to have greater appreciation for nature, open spaces, mountains and meadows. These days people use their free time to spend as much time as possible somewhere on a mountain. However, we should never forget the basic rules for visiting forests and mountains.

1. Always carry a reusable water bottle

Our country has many rivulets, streams and springs, as well as old village fountains along hiking trails. However, this water is often not safe for drinking. That is why you should always have enough water with you, in reusable water bottles. Thus you reduce the use of plastic and littering while hiking.

Photography: Dimitar Igumenovski

2. Think locally and sustainably

Try to spend as little fuel as possible to reach your chosen destination. Hike and move as locally as you can. If you want to visit a more remote area, use public transport or travel in a group

3. Take food from home

It is very important to have sufficient quantities of food with you. Food should be packed in paper or in re-usable containers to avoid waste. If possible, always use precooked meals, food that doesn’t spoil easily or fresh fruits and vegetables.

4. Do not leave traces

As the others, this rule is very simple. Move without leaving traces. Be careful where you tread, do not cut trees and branches unnecessarily, do not destroy animal habitats and do not pick plants, flowers and forest fruits if not necessary.

5. Always follow the trail

If there is a marked and mapped trail, it should be your first choice for moving outdoors. In this way you will not usurp further the forest space and upset the animals. Carving new trails leads directly to physical damage to habitats.

6. Camp safely

If you want to go camping, always choose already existing camp sites. If there are no such sites, set up camp on the smallest area possible, near the trail. Pitch the tent on a flat surface so that there is no need to cut vegetation or dig the soil. Avoid starting a fire, except when in danger.

7. Take waste with you

Throwing waste along mountain and forest trails directly pollutes these areas. You should follow this rule: Bring less – return less. This means using reusable bottles and containers, food and clothing should be packed in canvas bags and totes, and food remains should never be left behind.

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