AVOID COMMITTING A HIKING FAUX PAS THAT MAY LEAVE YOU WITHOUT FRIENDS AND IN FRUSTRATION ON THE TRAILS
Being in nature, breathing fresh air, listening to the sounds of the outdoors, absorbing the beauty of the everything around you....ahhh…. The many reasons of getting on trail.
Though have you ever find yourself on the trail in frustration of other hikers whom are effecting your outdoor experience?
Perhaps you are a newer hiker or someone that's been hiking for awhile and just unaware of how your behavior on the trail is effecting others around you.
Ever wonder what the unspoken rules of the trails are, the right-of-ways and accurate considerations to make whilst hiking?
Follow these etiquettes to maintain friends, avoid the stink eye from other hikers as well as avoid confusion and frustration on the trails.
#1 -LEAVE THE BEATS TO THE STREETS
*Turn off the music! *
I'm starting with this as the #1 etiquette to follow because this one is THE most frustrating social faux pas to make on the trails.
People flock to hiking and being on trail to get away from noise, sounds of the city even other people. Hikers don't want to listen to you blast those cool new beats from that dope new artist that you found and want to share with the world. Music and hiking are a perfect compliment to each other, with hiking being exercise and music fueling that fitness energy -We get it. Though not everyone wants to hear your tunes. Your music may feed your soul, though may be pure noise to others. Be considerate, put your headphones in and rock your workout out to yourself.
Rules of the road:
#2-"DRIVE" ON THE RIGHT
Hiking is a lot like driving, you have two-way traffic of people hiking up or down the trail. Stay to the right so that 'on-coming traffic' and any faster hikers from behind can pass on your left. This helps avoid confusion on the trails as well as helps people stay safe and avoid collisions.
# 3- "ON YOUR LEFT!"
If you are a faster hiker or are running a trail and coming up on someone that you will be passing, let them know by saying aloud "On your left". And pass on their left. This will help avoid startling the hiker you are approaching, as well as help make more room for you to pass on the trail.
#4-YIELD/STOP FOR ASCENSION
YIELD to hikers ascending (going UP) trail because when you are hiking up trail you are exerting more energy with each step and makes it harder to restart after stopping. Occasionally the ascending hiker will use this situation as a good excuse to take a much needed break from ascending, though leave the option to them.
When you see that epic photo op or need to nibble on that delish snack that you packed, or tie your shoes, then 'pull over' and step completely off the trail, so people can pass. This will allow for hikers that were behind you to pass and also avoid bottle necking the trail.
If you are in a group or on a narrow part of the trail then hike in a single file. At least until the trail opens back up, trying to avoid taking up more than half the trail if you are in a group and certainly staggering back into single file when hiker 'traffic' is passing.
#7 - "HELLO"
Greet oncoming 'traffic' so that they are aware of you approaching. Hikers can often be in a trance when hiking, looking down to watch their step, listening to music and zoning out to their happy place. It is always good practice to make eye contact and say 'hello' when approaching so that the other hiker sees you. This helps avoid collisions as well as maintains safety on the trail, as with security in any situation, when you 'notice' people you decrease the chances of a crime.
These etiquettes are a combination of standard hiking guidelines from American Hiking Society and Trail Guiding experience. So, follow these etiquettes to be a more considerate hiker keeping yourself and others safe on the trails.