Hiking Etiquette 101: The Essential Rules of Backpacking

There are always some unwritten rules that govern the activities of a group of people, much like every game has its set of rules. Hikers are no exceptions. But these rules only make the experience pleasant for everyone participating in the hike. Here are some commonly observed practices around the world:

Hike quietly

It's a good practice to turn down the volume of your cell phone and to speak softly at all times to avoid distracting fellow hikers. It's not every day that you get to experience nature in its rawest form; why not make the most of it then? Speaking of nature, aim to preserve the trail by walking through the mud and not around it. Widening a trail is bad for trail sustainability and could permanently damage the ecosystem around the trail.

What belongs to the wildlife must be left out in the wild, even if it's a rock cairn. The only souvenir you should bring back home with you should be photographs, happy memories, and possibly an improved fitness level.

On a break

When taking a break, allow other hikers to pass by unobstructed by moving off the trail. Likewise, when traveling in a group, refrain from consuming the width of the course in its entirety and allow for other hikers to pass. Remember, hikers going down the hill yield to those hiking upward, i.e., if you're descending the trail, you must give the hikers coming uphill the right of way to climb by stepping aside. But you can always say hello to other hikers on the trail and possibly ask them about trail conditions ahead.

If you need to relieve yourself in the midst of hiking, find yourself a spot about 200 feet away from the trail and any water bodies. It's best to deposit all human waste into a cat hole.

Hiking and animals

The rule of thumb is if you pack it in, you're going to have to pack it out. Don't toss your trash out into the wild, even if it's a biodegradable item, as it may not be good for the animals to consume non-native food. In fact, it's best not to feed the wildlife as it may disrupt their natural foraging habits. In case you encounter any wildlife, maintain a certain distance to refrain from damaging their habitat.

Additionally, if you ever bring a pet along on a hiking trip, keep it on a leash while hiking to give you more control of the situation.

Now that you know all the rules, all you need is a comfortable hiking backpack to head out for an adventure. Light Hiking Gear is your one-stop-shop for backpacks and bodypacks. Get the best balance and stability with our wide range of balanced day bags, ultralight packs, and dynamic daypacks for sale.


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