I’m not much of an athletic person. I’m a writer, which means I like to stay indoors and “research” books and movies more often than not. But I do love to hike. Zion, Arches, Snow Canyon, Wasatch, Uinta, Bears Ears – I’ll trek anywhere.
That being said, I’ve been on a lot of hikes over the years and have found the same trail etiquettes being violated by a variety of fellow hikers.
So as summer begins, let me share with you a quick list of rules to follow while on the trail:
- Be safe and aware of your surroundings. Wear appropriate shoes and pack twice as much water as you think you’ll need, especially on hot days.
- Stay on the trail, no matter how tempting. Even in the most barren environments, there is still a delicate balance of microorganisms cohabitating with humans.
- Mountain bikers yield to hikers, and equestrians yield to bikers and hikers.
- Keep to the right of the trail.
- If in a group and passing people from the other direction, move into a single file.
- If someone faster is coming up behind you, move off to the side and let them pass.
- The hiker going uphill has the right of way. (However, if I notice a mountain biker coming up behind me, I move over and let him pass. Because it’s a lot easier for me to gain back momentum than it is for him.)
- If you’re listening to music on speakers, keep it to a low volume. This is not only to be considerate to other trailers who want to listen to the soundtrack of nature, but a loud volume becomes a huge blind spot of your surroundings. Same applies to headphones.
- Pack out what you pack in, meaning: don’t litter. (This includes your pet’s droppings.)
- And most importantly, smile! All trail sins can be easily forgiven and forgotten with a polite “hello” to fellow patrons.