Hiking Etiquette 101

What exactly is the hiking etiquette?  I’m sure no one goes out for a nice hike with the intentions of being rude to a fellow hiker. Most trails I’ve been on, do not have signs pointing out trail etiquette so I thought I would take the time to find out what exactly they are. Without further adieu, here you go!

  1. Horses, Hikers, and Bikers….oh my!
Horses, HIkers & Bikers Sign -Etiquette

Yes, if you’ve seen any signs for trial etiquette, this is probably the only one you’ve seen. What it means is let horses pass you first before anything else.  I mean they’re big clunky easily scared animals. So why not let them thru, right? I try to step off the trial to ensure they have the most room possible and remain still so that the horse doesn’t get spooked. After horses, come us…the hikers! Yay! Then last but not least are the bikers. So if you’re struggling to come up a certain area of the mountain and all the sudden this biker shows up they (the biker) need to stop and wait for you to finish your climb. Although…I will say every time I’ve hiked, I tell the biker to go on thru. I figure, I’m a slow hiker and if the biker can go faster than me….then go ahead and pass me!

  1. Those going uphill – have the right away.

I feel that this is the most confusing and most non understood etiquette. But – I get it. Going up is more difficult than going down and sometimes while going up if you have to stop the momentum, it can be difficult to catch it again. On the other hand though – since going up is harder I don’t mind taking a break and letting the hikers going down – go down. I guess it’s really your call on how you feel at the time, but just know the correct etiquette is that those going up have the right away.

  1. Be friendly and say “Hi!”

I feel that this could solve all the miscommunication of the etiquette – because once someone makes eye contact and say’s “Hi” to me – I can’t get mad (even if they did continue going down while I was going up). Everyone on the trial is on it for the enjoyment of it. For the way nature makes them feel. So why not add to the experience and acknowledge your fellow hiking enthusiasts with a smile, a nod, a hello, or hell even all three!

  1. Leash Dogs

Okay, so not to sound rude but this is seriously a law for a reason! And trust me I’m not trying to hate…I’m a dog person! You just never know what you could run into and their can even be other people (and dogs) on the trial that are scared of strange dogs.

  1. Pack it In – Pack it Out.

Don’t litter. Just put it in your pocket or a friend’s pocket. People are out there to enjoy the beauty and seeing your gum wrapper on the trail reminds me that humans are assholes. Don’t be that asshole.

Okay, I know the title says 5 rules….but consider this a bonus rule! (Who doesn’t love bonus rules, right?)

  1. Pass on the Left.

If you need to pass someone, do it on their left yo! I don’t think this requires any further explanation, but if you need more – just email me!

So that’s it!  Those are the hiking etiquette rules that we should all try to follow when hiking. Hopefully by following these rules we all will be able to enjoy our hike and nature that much even more.

Happy Trails!

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