Any regular hiker will know there are several unwritten rules relating to trail and hiking etiquette.

Hiking Etiquette

Here are ten of the most followed practices:

Hike quietly

When out of the trail, try to enjoy the natural sounds of the wilderness and avoid talking in LOUD voices. Plus, it is nice to switch off the cell phone or other electronic devices.

Don’t block the trail

If stopping on the trail for a short break or similar other reason, move to one side to make it easier to other hiking parties to walk past without being obstructed.

Don’t drop the rubbish

Avoid leaving anything behind on the trails or other wilderness destinations. This even applies to banana peels or similar items that will naturally biodegradable.

It isn’t a great idea to leave non-native foods behind that will be picked up by animals. Anything that is taken on a hike should be packed back in the day-pack and returned to base.

Yield to fellow hikers

Any hiker walking downhill should give way to those walking uphill

Pets on the trail

If planning on taking a dog on a trail made sure you are visiting one of the dog-friendly destinations.

A dog should be kept under control and on a leash at all times. Plus, it is necessary to pick up the pet waste and return that to base (it shouldn’t be left behind on the trail).

Avoid feeding the wildlife

While it might be tempting to feed the many different species of wildlife noticed in the wilderness, it should be avoided because it can impact the natural habit for foraging.

Plus, much of the wildlife is shy or hidden and would prefer not to be disturbed.

No souvenirs

Avoid picking up souvenirs while walking along the trails. Souvenirs from walking in the natural surroundings should be kept to happy memories and photographs.

Relieve yourself

If it becomes necessary to relieve yourself while out on the trails, make sure to move away from the main walking trails (or any water sources).

A good distance to move away is at least 150-ft.

Preserve the trail

Try to walk within the confines of the trail. Walking around puddles or mud will soon cause problems and isn’t great for trail sustainability.

While it looks more inviting to cut the corner or pass by puddles of mud this will have a negative impact in the long-term and is less efficient at preserving the trails.

Group hiking

If a hiking group includes a number of people, try to avoid taking up the entire width of the trail. Make sure to let others get past when they are nearby.

In summary

Abide by the rules of hiking etiquette and make it easier to have a more enjoyable experience while minimizing negative impact on the environment.

Get on with fellow hikers and avoid creating a nuisance and avoid dropping litter.

Always remember to take back to home base any item that you originally packed in the hiking pack, including food and drink packaging and even pet waste.