The Hiker's Guide to Trail Etiquette
The great outdoors may not come with a rule book but there are certain guidelines that experienced hikers follow to stay safe on the trails.
Whether you’re going on your first hike or have been doing it for years, here’s a quick guide to help you out:
Make Way for People Going Uphill
Those traveling uphill can’t see very far, they have a limited view of what’s up ahead. Going uphill requires more bodily strength so people are usually looking at their footing which is why hikers coming up should be given the right of way.
If you’re walking down a narrow trail and you see hikers coming up, move to the side and let them walk up; don’t break their gait. Of course, if the hikers coming up choose to give you way, go for it.
Look out for Mountain Bikers
Not all trails have mountain bikers; however, if you do come across them, it’s best to give them space. Mountain bikes have to work hard when climbing a steep hill, help them out by stepping to the side.
The same way, mountain bikers can be coming down a steep incline can have difficulty stopping.
If you happen to come across horses on the trail don’t make any abrupt movements and give way. Avoid doing anything that may startle them.
Stay in a Single-File
Hiking in a group is a whole lot of fun, but if every single group had people walking alongside each other, there won’t be enough space. Hiking in a single-file helps the group navigate through the tail and gives room to those coming from the opposite side.
Let the Slowest Hiker Lead
Sound strange? Inexperienced hiking groups make the mistake of letting the fastest hiker lead the way; the problem with that is that the slower people get left behind. When you let the slowest hiker lead the group, everyone else can adjust their pace accordingly. The slowest hiker will require more breaks, forcing them to keep up with fast hikers will further exhaust them.
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