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Climber's Responsibilities

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If there is an established trail, walk in a single line and avoid creating new trails. Widening of such and formation of new ones can damage the soil and kill the plants crossing the paths of hikers.

Do not take anything from the forests as souvenir. If each climber would bring home one souvenir, the future climbers may be left with nothing but ugly remains of a once-beautiful place.

Avoid disturbing wildlife. Many species of animals become stressed due to disturbance by man.

Never leave garbage along the trail or at the campsite. Oftentimes, the local communities do not have well-managed waste disposals, so it will be better to bring the garbage to the cities for proper disposal.

For human waste, each climber can dig his own "toilet", about six inches deep, and cover it with soil afterwards. Common latrines are proven to be bad because the soil cannot break down concentrated amounts of waste in reasonable time; it would be much better to bring along waste treatment gear to bring down the wastes back to the cities for proper disposal.

Bring along camping equipment like stoves to minimize the use of forest materials (like wood for cooking). In some cases, the only resources available are almost irreplaceable.

Do not bathe or wash dishes along rivers. The people downstream may be using the water for drinking purposes. Do the washing or bathing about twenty feet (make that 100 ft.) from the river bank. A more acceptable bathing practice is to do it without using soap.

Before traveling to a foreign culture or to an isolated village, it is best to learn the locals' culture to avoid embarrassing situations, both to the visitors and to the hosts.

Be sensitive to the values of the local people. Tourists may bring culture shock to the villagers and may alter the basic values of the population.

Abandon the old practice of digging trenches at the side of tents of campsites. Doing this leaves permanent damage to the environment.

Do not buy souvenir items made from rare animal or plant species or questionable sources.

Find out the maximum capacity of the trekking area before going to prevent over-crowding and to minimize the impacts on the environment.

Always register with the municipal or barangay (village) or park office or leave the names and number of the trekkers to any local official at the jump-off point. Tell them the date the group is expected to return so that emergency measures can be adopted the soonest possible time in case of accident.

Avoid giving money or token candies to the children in areas visited. The practice will ultimately affect the local children's set of values and condition them that each hiker is a source of easy money.

Make sure that health measures are taken into account in order to avoid disease transfer between the visitors and the locals.

If no one is familiar with the destination, always hire a guide. It saves time and lessens the probability of accidents.

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