How to manage your waste when hiking ?

With more than 18 million hikers, hiking is one of French people’s favourite sports. Easily accessible, it lets children and adults be amazed by Mother Nature’s beauty and enjoy the open air. But to preserve our environment and let future generations enjoy the same landscapes, it’s key to help protect it by adopting simple steps and learning to manage our waste before, during and after hikes.

Manage hiking waste

Eating and hydrating are the biggest causes of waste on hiking trails. Cans, plastic bottles, food packaging – when discarded in nature, all this rubbish pollutes soil and water and is dangerous for people and animals. To reduce your footprint and preserve the environment, there are simple steps you can take :

    • - Make your own snacks and lunches before leaving, and store them in sealable containers. That way, you’ll limit waste and make room in your backpack ;

    • - Don’t discard waste on the ground, even if it’s biodegradable. If there are no bins nearby, collect your rubbish in a recyclable textile bag and sort it at home ;

    • - If you smoke, don’t discard your cigarette butts. They take nearly 15 years to degrade, and contain substances that are toxic to nature. So keep your butts in a small portable ashtray ;

    • - Regarding hydration, ban plastic bottles and instead use an aluminium flask or thermos. Light and convenient, they’ll allow you to better manage your waste and to drink how you like, whether it’s hot or cold liquids! ;


    • - Lastly, for cleanliness, prefer alcoholic gel to wash your hands plus solid soap for your daily hygiene. Wet wipes may be practical, but they’re not an eco-friendly solution.

Each item of waste has a direct impact on animal and plant life. By learning to better manage waste and by adopting these few steps, you’ll make a personal contribution to protecting our beautiful planet.

Opt for smart equipment

Want to hike responsibly and smartly? Well, be aware that equipment exists that is perfectly designed to let you achieve your goal. Particularly good examples are :

    • <li>Disposable, biodegradable and compostable tableware: made of wood, ramie or sugarcane fibre, it is particularly robust, heat resistant, and very light ;

    • - Collapsible, sealable containers: once empty, these recipients fold up and create room in your backpack ;

    • - A water bladder and drink tube: the bladder is inserted directly in your pack, and the drink tube lets you hydrate without having to remove the bladder from your pack. A great alternative to plastic bottles! ;

    • - A hiking pack with fasteners built onto the shoulder straps: ideal for securing your hydration pack and its drink tube.


Sort waste after your hike

After your hike, don’t forget to sort your waste at home. Without this step, rubbish cannot be recycled and will end up in landfill. To sort it successfully, nothing could be simpler: use three different coloured bins :

    • - A yellow bin for plastic bottles, metal packaging and paper/cardboard ;

    • - A grey bin for food and residual waste ;

    • - A green bin for your glass bottles and jars.

This quick and simple sorting operation may offer your waste a second life !