Going out into the wilderness seems like an adventure with no serious consequences. We all love to go on a hike now and then, or accompany our families on the annual family camping. But this adventure, like everything else in life, comes with responsibility. “Leave no trace” is a concept that allows you to preserve the beauty of mother nature that you see on your hikes by removing any traces that you were there. This means zero human involvement in terms of waste, disruption, and pollution.
There is no need to be scared. This responsibility will not take away from the fun you are going to have on your trip. It will only make things easier for you and the ones that come after you. Getting in touch with nature by no account means disrespecting it. By respecting the wilderness, and by leaving no trace behind you, you can truly experience the love that nature has to offer.
How can we apply “Leave No Trace” in the UAE?
The following are a few ways you can apply “leave no trace” in the wilderness of UAE:
- Know the Area:
It is very important to research the area prior to you leave for a location you have not been to before. This way, you will be better able to prepare yourself to what challenges you might face and what steps you may need to take to follow the other instructions mentioned in this list. You can be a responsible hiker/camper without compromising on your comfort.
- Minimize Waste:
In other words, do not make an unnecessary mess. Do not throw wrappers around. If you have to use the facilities, do it near the trail or the campsite so you do not disturb any wildlife. Before leaving a campsite make sure to burn the waste to ash before putting out the campfire. Another way of minimizing the waste is by packing light; the less stuff you bring on your journey, the less you are bound to leave behind.
- Do Not Disturb What is Already There:
Remember, you are there to observe nature, not disturb it. And it is your responsibility so that others can enjoy that beauty as well. The area allocated to your use, whether it be camping or hiking, is provided to make your time comfortable. Hopefully, there won’t be much to interfere with those areas. A hiking trail and a campsite maybe your holiday spot but it is also home to many other creatures and we owe it to them to not move things around in their house. This brings us to our next two points!
- Respect Wildlife
Hopefully, you will be away from the more exciting animals during your trip but if you do encounter some wildlife, even if bugs or insects or wild rabbits, do not harm them in any way. They are not the ones imposing on your trip. You need to remember that it is you who has come to their home. You may observe them and admire their beauty but make sure they are not harmed by your presence in any way. Respect the wildlife and you will feel welcomed back the next time you return to your trail/campsite.
- Do Not Get off the Trail or the Allocated Campsite:
I have associated camping and hiking with adventure in the past but I need to also mention now that one must not take this sense of adventure so seriously that they may put themselves or others in harm’s way. By going off the course set for your enjoyment, you risk disturbing the habitat of the wildlife living there. You might also risk getting lost or hurt on the unknown route. By keeping on your track, you will be able to get most of the hiking and camping experience. Especially in the UAE, the mountainous region can prove very tricky to navigate without a guided path, so do not take risks unless you are an experienced mountaineer, and that too accompanied by friends.
I hope all these points help make your trips easier and liberating, along with being the best for the environment. If hiking outdoors, setting up camp in the wilderness, and connecting with nature does not make you a better person, then it needs to be reevaluated. Being a responsible camper or hiker will in no way take away from the fun you are going to have on your trip, in fact, it helps you feel fulfilled and at peace. And that is what adventure is all about.