We’re blessed to live in a region of the country with countless glorious hikes. Before hitting your next trail, though, make sure you’re following the common rules of hiking etiquette.
Clean it up & Pack it out
It’s important to clean up all litter and debris while you’re hiking. This clean-up duty includes dog poop. Nobody wants to step in dog poo while they’re enjoying the great outdoors. However, even worse than leaving a pile is bagging the poo and then leaving the bag behind. Any kind of plastic bag poses a threat.
Heed all signs & postings
While a sign of a trail closure or detour may be a frustrating addition to your day in nature, those signs are there for a reason. Someone may have harmed themselves or the property. Rangers may be trying to prevent further injury or damage from happening. Save yourself from harm – and the environment! – by respecting all postings.
It seems this rule should go without saying, but if you’ve been on a trail lately you know it’s necessary. Even if your significant other has just popped the question, and you’re longing to mark your love on a large tree near the spot – resist the temptation! You can get a tattoo on yourself, but don’t tattoo the natural environment.
Keep dogs & wildlife safe
Your dog may be incredibly obedient. However, for the safety of your animal, wildlife and other hikers it’s important to abide by leash rules. If a trail indicates no off leash dogs, don’t think that your dog is the exception. In fact, the best etiquette is to keep your dog leashed at all times.
Adopt the boy scout’s maxim. Do a little research of the area you’re planning on going to ahead of time. Pack appropriate amounts of water and food. Know the equipment you might need. Hike with a buddy. Use common sense and avoid the need to be rescued!
Keep the noise to a minimum
Most people on the trails are trying to escape the hubbub of life. Consequently, respect for fellow hikers looks like keeping noise disturbances to a minimum. Stay quiet and enjoy the sounds of nature!