Hiking to the top of a mountain is a wonderfully invigorating and fun experience, and qualifies as one of our green actions
Hiking to the top of a mountain does not have to be too daunting, there are plenty of mountains around the world – and almost certainly in your country – that are easily accessible with a good pair of walking shoes, sensible clothing, and a day rucksack with food and water on board.
A great example is Pen-y-fan in Wales in the UK, which is pictured here. To walk from the main road nearby to the peak, explore a little, and walk back takes a few hours.
Of course, you can be more adventurous, but the important thing is to reach a summit and enjoy the achievement and the spectacular views.
Take care to walk within your abilities, in good weather, and with proper clothing and boots. There are lots of websites, forums and clubs that will give you advice and guidance.
Why is this a “green” action
Hiking to a summit is incredibly satisfying, so you will get a great feeling of personal achievement. In addition, you will get a chance to put things into perspective. It helps us to understand how big the world it beyond our own immediate busy lives, and brings an appreciation of nature, the natural environment, and the planet we live on.
Most hillsides and mountainsides are also home to great plant life and interesting wildlife. You will see different ecosystems as you climb and the terrain changes, and if you climb our larger mountains you’ll also see the wildlife and plant life change as the temperature drops.
The environmental benefits of experiencing and enjoying a hike like this include:
- educating yourself and your family about the natural world
- understanding different ecosystems and seeing the scale of things differently
- walking is a low carbon-emission healthy activity
Understanding our world is important because without that understanding it will be more difficult for us, and our children, to be motivated to make the changes that we need to make to undo the damage we are doing. We need to:
- take action to reduce the way we are contaminating our world
- take action to reduce the way we are changing our climate
- take action to reduce our impact on plant and animal biodiversity
By hiking in our countryside, and reaching the summit of a mountain, we can see and feel the tangible benefits of protecting our world. As a result, we are all more likely to change our behaviours. These might be small changes – for example less inclination to drop litter, or to create waste – but (like all of our suggested actions) they all add up to make a difference.
There are other benefits too
- hiking is incredibly good for your physical and mental health
- walking in a groups is incredibly social
- it’s a free or inexpensive activity
What to do
Take a look at the geography of your own country and set yourself a target. For example, if you are in the UK, you might decide to climb our highest mountain, which is Ben Nevis in Scotland.
You will then need to:
- plan to get fit enough for the hike, which will involve lots of other walking, smaller hills and mountains, and perhaps other fitness work
- learn about the weather you might face, and the equipment you will need
- learn about hiking techniques and protocols
- get together a group (never hike alone) and plan your trip!
Above all, hiking our countryside should be enjoyable, so stay within your own capabilities and keep it fun.
Reaching the summit of your chosen mountain is a wonderful feeling. When you get to the top all the aches and pains go away and you can enjoy the sense of achievement and wonderful views.
Add to that some learning about our world, and the fact that the activity is low carbon and healthy, and you have the perfect action!