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5 ways to adventure more sustainably

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Whether you’re a hiker, climber or hunter, there’s something we have in common: a love for the outdoors.

But have you ever considered how your favorite activities affect the planet you enjoy exploring? In celebration of Earth Day, we put together some easy improvements you can make to minimize the environmental impact of your adventures, as well as a few sustainable gear picks from our experts.

1. Choose human-powered adventures

Because they’re powered by you and not fossil fuels, activities like hiking, biking, skiing, climbing and paddleboarding are healthier for the environment (and you, too). See how these experts are getting outside.

Expert Tip:  Into overlanding, boating or snowmobiling? You don’t have to give up your favorite activity. Instead, try to minimize your impact in other ways, like exploring closer to home or carpooling with your adventure buddies.

2. Leave No Trace

You’ve probably heard of Leave No Trace (LNT), a code of ethics that encourages everyone to respect the places they’re exploring. Explore the full list of LNT principles here.

Let’s talk about Principle number 3, “dispose waste properly.” This means packing out all trash and taking care of human waste, too. Check out these tips for a greener clean-up.

3. Reduce your plastic use

Did you know less than 5% of plastic is actually recycled in the U.S.? That means 95% of the plastics we use end up in landfills and even pollute the natural places we love. Single-use plastics show up a lot in the outdoors, from our snacks to our hydration.

Here are some easy swaps you can make to curb your plastic use.

Bulk snacks

Buy nuts, trail mixes and candies from your local grocery store’s bulk bins and pack them in a trail-friendly reusable container, like the Silipint Lidded Bowl.

Reusable water bottle

The EcoVessel BOULDER Trimax water bottle not only keeps plastic out of landfills — it keeps your water refreshingly cold. Can a single-use plastic bottle do that?


You can feel good reaching for a CLIF Bar knowing that its packaging is purposely designed to minimize plastic and recyclable through TerraCycle. CLIF Bar is also working towards 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025.

Omni-degradable pouches

Freeze-dried backpacking meals are traditionally packaged in plastic, but Farm to Summit uses bags that are omni-degradable — which means they are biodegradable, recyclable and, under the right circumstances, compostable. For a brand that’s most likely in your local outdoor store, Mountain House is a TerraCycle partner, meaning its pouches can be recycled.

4. Repair your gear

The outdoors can be tough on your gear. A tree branch could snag your rain jacket or a cactus could puncture your sleeping pad. When your gear rips, breaks or stops working, these are some options that don’t involve a landfill.

Expert Tip: Stay up to date on sustainable brands that offer repair services for their products like Cotopaxi, Stio, Dueter and Mountain Hardware (Psst — you can shop all these brands on ExpertVoice.com)

5. Make mindful new gear purchases

If you are in the market for new gear, consider high-quality (which means longer-lasting) products that are sustainably made by brands committed to minimizing their environmental impact. Here’s a cheat sheet to help you find sustainable brands. Select each icon to learn more.

Learn more about brands that are focused on environmental responsibility and available to shop on ExpertVoice here.

By incorporating simple changes into our outdoor activities, we can all contribute to a more eco-conscious future. From embracing human-powered adventures to repairing and mindfully selecting our gear, every choice we make can have a positive impact. Let’s continue to be mindful and intentional in our outdoor pursuits, and remember that even small actions can make a big difference in protecting our planet for generations to come.

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