No matter what game you play, you will come across certain rules or etiquettes that aren’t in the books, and are learned via observation and experience. The same holds true for hiking.
There is certain trail etiquette that you must follow while hiking in order to prevent any inconvenience to yourself or others. If you are hiking for the first time, or are a seasoned hiker in need of a refresher, keep in mind these 5 hiking trail etiquettes:
Make way for ascenders
Since climbing is more strenuous than going down, hikers that are on the way up have the “right of choosing their path”.
Climbing is hard work, and changing your direction or speed can completely ruin your momentum. This is why when climbing down, make way for climbers who are on their way up or let them make a call.
Don’t remove the cairns
Cairns are small rock decorations that hikers make along the way that help them find their way back. You may be extremely professional or adventurous not to rely on cairns to find your way back, but many hikers do.
It can be tempting to destroy these cairns just for the sake of fun, but you may cause serious problems for others, especially if the hikers are first-timers.
Be polite and respectful to your fellow hikers.
Talk to other hikers
Whenever you meet a hiker on the path, introduce yourself and talk to them. It’s not just about being polite or friendly, but an important safety measure.
For one, you can get first-hand knowledge about the trekking conditions, camping sites and water sources ahead. Too, if you encounter a problem, other hikers will be able to direct rescue operations in your direction.
However, if another hiker is making you feel unsafe, it is best to carry on.
Limit cell phone use
You may have thousands of followers on your social media accounts that really enjoy the pictures you take on your adventures. However, try to limit your cell phone use as much as possible.
Don’t forget that trekking is all about getting away from everyday life and connecting with nature, so disconnect your cell phone and other electronic gadgets. If you are taking photos or listening to music, make sure that you aren’t holding up the way of other hikers and are aware of your surroundings.
Make sure to pack out everything that you brought, including all food packaging, banana peels and energy bars wrappers. The last thing you want to do is litter and ruin the scenery.
It is important not to disturb nature, which includes destroying plants, disturbing boulders or hurting wildlife. Leave the place exactly as you found it, or the way you want it to be the next time you come.
If you want to learn more about hiking etiquette and want to know more about hiking in general, check out our blog. We are one of the world's leading ultra-light hiking gear suppliers in USA and have an expansive collection of backpacks and daypacks.