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Trail Etiquette


jshanks24
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Here recently I was reading an article (forget what it was) and I saw it mentioned that uphill hikers have the right away when on the trail. Since I did not know this I am curious as to what other things should I be aware of on the trail in terms of trail etiquette.

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That's how I roll ... not everyone follows this but I give those going up the right of way and take it when I'm going up ... well I don't always take it if I'm going up but if I'm in steep sections going up ... it's mine. :)

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Another good one - as far as Leave No Trace principles are concerned - do not cut switchbacks. I saw this done a few times at Yosemite this summer - not cool!

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Another good one - as far as Leave No Trace principles are concerned - do not cut switchbacks. I saw this done a few times at Yosemite this summer - not cool!

HikerJen

I agree completely. I've also seen this practice, far too many times.

It irritates me, but anything that degrades the "trail experience" bothers me. I was trained in Leave No Trace many years ago with Boy Scouts, and this should be a well established set of trail etiquette behaviors. But confronting a person or group displaying such poor behavior could be dangerous in today's' America.

Gary M

Olathe, Kansas

Edited by Gary M
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HikerJen

I agree completely. I've also seen this practice, far too many times.

It irritates me, but anything that degrades the "trail experience" bothers me. I was trained in Leave No Trace years ago with Boy Scouts, and this should be a well established set of trail etiquette behaviors. But confronting a person or group displaying such poor behavior could be dangerous in today's' America.

Gary M

Olathe, Kansas

In other words, the Leave No Trace principles should be considered as a major part of trail etiquette.

Just in case some TrailGroove reader is unfamiliar with these principles (God forbid) they are:

1. Plan ahead and prepare: Poorly prepared people, when presented with unexpected situations, often resort to high-impact solutions that degrade the outdoors or put themselves at risk. Proper planning leads to less impact.

2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces: Damage to land occurs when surface vegetation or communities of organisms are trampled beyond repair. The resulting barren area leads to unusable trails, campsites and soil erosion.

3. Dispose of waste properly: Though most trash and litter in the backcountry is not significant in terms of the long term ecological health of an area, it does rank high as a problem in the minds of many backcountry visitors. Trash and litter are primarily social impacts which can greatly detract from the naturalness of an area.[5] Further, backcountry users create body waste and waste water which requires proper disposal according to Leave No Trace.

4. Leave what you find: Leave No Trace directs people to minimize site alterations, such as digging tent trenches, hammering nails into trees, permanently clearing an area of rocks or twigs, and removing items.

5. Minimize campfire impact: Because the naturalness of many areas has been degraded by overuse of fires, Leave No Trace teaches to seek alternatives to fires or use low-impact fires.

6. Respect wildlife: Minimizing impact on wildlife and ecosystems.

7. Be considerate of other visitors: Following hiking etiquette and maintaining quiet allows visitors to go through the wilderness with minimal impact on other users.

Leave No Trace.....Learn It, Live It!

Gary M

Olathe,Kansas

Edited by Gary M
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Lastly,

Here is the Leave No Trace principle detail which answers the original question concerning trail etiquette and "right of way"

7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.

Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.

Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.

Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.

Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.

Leave No Trace.....Learn It, Live It!

Gary M

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Sorry, I forgot to mention you may take a free, Leave No Trace Online Awareness Course at:

https://lnt.org/learn/online-awareness-course

Good luck and happy trails!

Gary M

Olathe, Kansas

Thanks Gary M. I am aware of leave no trace and practice it but was not aware of the free online course. I always want to learn about new resources to put on my site to help others.

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I ended up writing an article on my site about trail etiquette titled: 5 Quick Rules of Hiking Etiquette. I don't want to seem spammy but though some of the people looking at this post may want to read it. Let me know what you guys think.

Your camping site is really nice, and the "5 Rules" are fine. It's a shame some folks (unfortunately) are clueless about keeping the wilderness pristine.

I happen to recall many years ago to be camping with my wife (somewhere about 100 miles south of St. Louis) and being startled by the next group over playing Jimi Hendrix at an ear splitting psychedelic volume. I'm not sure if the local wildlife ever recovered, perhaps they just joined the band. I do know it didn't make a good impression on my wife!

Gary M

Olathe, Kansas

Edited by Gary M
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