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Hiking Las Vegas Blog
7 Tips on Trail Etiquette
Hiking is a great way to exercise, connect with nature and relax away from city life. But when we journey out into the wilderness, there are several etiquette tips that must be considered on the trails. Here are a few.
Share the Trail
If you are descending a hill and you see another hiker coming up, be kind and move to the side. It takes more energy to ascend a trail than to descend, so keep this in mind no matter how much of a hurry you might be in. Also, if you are hiking in a group, don’t clog the trail by walking side by side. Instead, hike in a single file line so others can easily maneuver around your group. Also, keep your group size manageable. 50+ hikers in a group is too many.
Leave No Trace
This is a rule for venturing out into the wilderness at any point. Granola wrappers, water bottles or any other type of waste should be disposed of properly, not left on a trail. This even goes for gum wrappers and apple cores etc. While they might be small, it’s disrespectful to other hikers, animals and nature in general. If there isn’t a garbage can around, stick your wrappers and papers in your pocket or your backpack, like the Carhartt Elements hybrid backpack, and discard when you reach a trash bin. Most importantly, leave the trail and surrounding forests as good as, or better than, when you arrived.
We understand. Sometimes there isn’t a bathroom. Sometimes you don’t want to carry your dog’s poop for miles and miles. But you cannot ever leave fecal matter on or near a trail. It is disrespectful and can attract animals which can endanger other hikers. Be sure you walk 200 paces away from any trail, campsite or body of water to bury human or animal waste.
Don’t Destroy Cairns
We know that some people might not appreciate man-made objects in nature, but destroying cairns, the pyramid statues of rocks, is not the answer. These formations are used as guides for other hikers at times, too. Also, don’t add rocks to an already formed cairn. Simply take a photo and keep moving. You can create one of your own later.
Mind the Horses
You are likely to pass horses and bikers on the trails at some point. As a hiker and the slower of the three, allow them to pass as easily as possible. There’s no need to hog the trails. We can’t think of many things worse than getting a hoof to the face while hiking your favorite trail.
Stay on the Trail
Getting lost in the wilderness shouldn’t be at the top of your bucket list. Unless you are an experienced hiker and navigator, stay on the trail.
Leave the Tech Alone
We understand your desire to take photos of the stunning views you encounter. We even understand having a phone in case of an emergency, but answering a phone call or listening to music while on the trails is just rude. Think of the animals in the woods as well as the other hikers. So keep your phone on silent and use it only for picture taking. If battery life is an issue, turn your phone off. Other hikers will thank you later.
Now that you have all the rules of the trail, don’t forget to outfit yourself in the best hiking gear, like the stuff sold by trusted brands like Carhartt! Have a great hiking trip, and pass these tips along to your fellow hikers.
Branch Whitney is the author of Hiking Las Vegas and creator of the 52 Peak Club where members hike to the best 52 Peaks around Las Vegas, NV