I was wondering what some of the ethics are to refrain from damaging the environment or disturbing animals while going hiking, camping, exploring, whatever.
I can think of a few.. They may need tweaking, though.
Put stones around your fire, watch it carefully, put it out when you're done.
Don't leave anything behind, and don't take what you don't need from the forest. [Preferably ask for permission from the plants or give a prayer of thanks and acknowledgement of the life of the animal whose life was stolen so you could continue to live, and don't let any part go to waste if you can help it.]
Don't hunt for sport, maybe? If you must hunt for sport, hunt with weapons that are not cruel, and/or take skill to use to give the animals a real sporting chance.
Keep excrement away from water sources. [I know there's more to this one.]
Don't harass or harm the wildlife unnecessarily.
Maybe you can go even further and try to plant a tree for every tree you chop down, and give offerings to the spirits of nature to acknowledge their roles in the homeostasis of the planet.
All you've said are wonderful concepts for enjoying the great outdoors and our nature gifted to us,its a privilege to be able to enter it so treat it right...your heart space is wide open it appears much like my own,over here in New Zealand we are always out in nature,tourism is rife especially in treking & freedom camping,we get taught in school the most important things when we are out in nature that its best to leave it in its pristine condition just as it was found,so dont remove anything,try not to disturb anything where streams are concerned as you could upset a whole eco system by simply lifting a rock for example...and dont leave anything behind youve taken in,this includes food wrappers,paper,anything & take all your human rubbish with you..as for your human excrement yes you have two options, you can take it out with you in sealed plastic bag and dispose of it in a sanitary way when you find a toilet if your just treking or tramping in a day or many trampers who are out for days in our bush at a time have been known to bury it deep [at least in a 60cm pit packed with rocks & dirt not on the surface or under just leaf litter] and always away from all water supplies yes..we also get taught how to survive in our bush by eating native berries & plants like ferns known as koru shoots known as [piku piku] & many more,plus how to make emergency bush shelters etc,you can die out in our bush over night via hypothermia..here are some NZ video on this:...And we are taught to wash our boots before you go into the bush with a scrub brush & detergents and then again after you leave it also, as you can spread unwanted fungus spores that could kill trees..our Kauri trees are suffering from this disease spread by trampers in NZ its called Kauri die back & is sad cos it cant be cured only prevented..