If you are on the trail you are bound to run in to other hikers enjoying the outdoors just like you. Here are some of the unspoken rules of the trail to help make yours and your fellow hiker’s experiences a little nicer!
Most of these rules are pretty self-explanatory, but here is a friendly littlie reminder 😊
Share the Trail
Everyone hikes at different speeds and that is okay!! It’s not a race to the top, move at your own pace and take in the world around you. When going up trail try to stay to the right, this will allow for other hikers to pass you on the left, so that everyone can enjoy at their own speed.
Keep the trail Clean
The general rule is leave no trace.
This means that whatever you pack in, pack out out with you. There is nothing that upsets me more then seeing wrappers and empty water bottles on the trail. So do your part, pack out your garbage AND if you see something on the trail pick it up when possible. Lets keep this world beautiful so we can enjoy it.
Stay on the Trail
Its understandable that the trail surroundings can be beautiful, but lets keep them that way. Stay on the trial, a lot of the plants on the side of the trail can be fragile and leaving the trail can lead to accidentally harming them (plants grow by the inch, but die by the foot). It can also be dangerous to leave the trail you can get lost or fall.
Know Who has Right Of Way
While Hiking know that hikers going uphill have the right of way, since going uphill uses more energy than going down. It is polite to let them continue with out making them stop so that they can keep their momentum.
Be friendly to others
You don’t have to strike up a conversation with everyone that you see, but a simple smile and wave to a passing hiker is always nice. Being friendly to fellow hikers isn’t just about being nice, it is also important for safety. You want fellow hikers to remember you in case something does happen on the trail. PLUS I always rely on other hikers for beta about what is happening on the trial ahead (e.g. trail conditions, view points, distance left, etc.)
Don’t mess with trail markers
Do not take any trail makers down or change signs. These are important to help people find their way. Also, do not add rocks to cairns or build new cairns, these help guide people and allow them to know what path to take.
Respect the Peace and Quiet
Keep the noise down. There are other people on the trail and also wildlife. Try not to blast your music; either use headphones or take a break from the music and listen to the nature around you.
Also keep your cellphone on silent and try to keep the volume down when hiking in groups.
Going to the Bathroom
You have to go when you have to go, and no one is asking you to hold it till you get off the trail. Just be respectful as to where you go. When possible you should go 200 ft away from the trail, if you can do that with out damaging any vegetation or going on dangerous terrain. In these cases use your best judgement. Find a private spot behind a rock or tree and make sure you aren’t near a water source and campsite.
And remember toilet paper is trash! Cary it out with you or even better get a Kulacloth.
But most importantly have fun and happy hiking!!!