The long-awaited hiking season is upon us, and we probably have our backpacks ready to go. A fresh look at what you carry on day hikes will reveal how much plastic has become a part of our lives. That hard plastic water bottle, hopefully BPA-free for your health, may have been reused for years, which is good, but replacing it with a metal water bottle is better. Many hikers and cyclists prefer the more convenient water reservoirs, which are also BPA-free…but as of now there are no non-plastic alternatives on the market. We also find plastics in our ponchos or other rain gear we carry with us, yet another product which is hard to replace as a non-plastic. However, we can do something about reducing our use of those single-use plastic bags we throw into our packs for lunch and snacks along the trail. There are “old-fashioned” alternatives such as using reusable and recyclable aluminum foil, and also waxed paper. Current products on the market include a wide range of reusable and sealable paper sandwich and snack bags, such as from LunchSkins. These reusable bags are dishwasher-safe and the paper bags are made of natural glassine, a forest product. Try these the next time you go hiking!