THE BASIC RULES OF HIKING
You’re in your zone, hiking along a narrow trail so close to the edge you can almost smell it. And then an over ambitious biker plummets down, nearly wiping you out, so we came up with a list to keep everyone in check.
It’s expected for bikers to yield to hikers because of their maneuverability. Bikers often move considerably faster than hikers, so it is usually easier for hikers to stop and give bikers the right of way. Even know bikers should, us hikers are way more polite.
Don’t take shortcuts on your hike. Stick to the trail, even if it means going through mud or along switchbacks. Going off the trail for a bit might seem harmless, but it’s anything but. This can trigger erosion, which leads to unsafe trail conditions. Often, trails damaged by erosion must be closed for years to recover.
Among some commonly observed practices are:
- Don’t toss your trash – not even biodegradable items such as banana peels. It is not good for animals to eat non-native foods and who wants to look at your old banana peel while it ever-so-slowly decomposes? If you packed it in, pack it back out.
- Hikers going downhill yield to those hiking uphill.
- When bringing a pet on a hike, be sure to keep it on a leash and under control. Don’t forget to pack out pet waste as well.
- Don’t feed the wildlife. While many animals stay hidden, others are not so shy. Giving these creatures food only disrupts their natural foraging habits.
- Leave what you find. The only souvenirs a hiker should come home with are photographs and happy memories. (And maybe an improved fitness level!)
- When relieving yourself outdoors, be sure to do so 200 feet away from the trail and any water sources.
- Walk through the mud or puddle and not around it, unless you can do so without going off the trail. Widening a trail by going around puddles, etc. is bad for trail sustainability. Just because it looks easy to cut the corner off of a switchback doesn’t mean it is a good idea. Help preserve the trail by staying on the trail.
Remember, “Hiking side effects include sweating, euphoria and general awesomeness. Hiking is always the answer, who cares what the question was.
Have fun and be cool. TheHikingShop.com