About Wilderness Hiking & Wilderness Hiking Ethics

Wilderness is a ‘tonic’ of which humans can never have enough. Wilderness helps preserve man’s capacity for wonder, the power to feel, and to see, the miracles of life, beauty and the natural harmony around us. As the world becomes more populated by humans, there are fewer and fewer places left that are still completely untouched by mankind. These remaining areas contain the resources of solitude and an unmodified environment.

Wilderness has long been recognised as a location for renewal of mind and spirit. What makes the ‘wilderness experience’ unique is the tranquility, peace and silence it offers, and the opportunity it affords for contemplation. Nature dominates and there is a relative absence of demands on our behavior that are artificially generated or human imposed. One becomes aware of the rhythms of the mountains and the forces of nature.

Many visitors have had life changing experiences in mountain wilderness that can have a spiritual dimension. Away from the all encompassing technological world, they are able to appreciate their full potential. Most wilderness hikers return from their shared adventure in a setting of natural beauty, tranquility and solitude, with an intense feeling of well-being, as well as the satisfaction of being healthily tired after the physical exertion of a good hike!

As far as possible, the routes selected for Southern Secrets hikes and walks enable participants to experience and understand ‘wilderness’, its ethics, philosophy, principals and values. These include a sense of solitude, timelessness, and a freedom from a world where man is in control. The observation of the natural world, plants and flowers, bird watching and some game viewing is part of the experience, as is being in a place where the sounds and ways of nature pervade.

Hiking ethics in all areas we visit is to ‘leave no trace’ and to strive to have zero impact rather than ‘minimum’ impact, on the environments we traverse. These principals also apply when visiting other cultures.

A document detailing these ethics, will be supplied to all hikers after booking a trip with Southern Secrets Hiking and Backpacking, and a full briefing will be given before the trip begins.

Philip and Christeen are both active members of the Wilderness Action Group, an NGO dedicated to the protection and preservation of wilderness areas in Africa and worldwide.