Hiking - Etiquette of Hiking

Etiquette of Hiking

Because hiking is a recreational experience, hikers expect it to be pleasant. Sometimes hikers can interfere with each other's enjoyment, or that of other users of the land. Hiking etiquette has developed to minimize such interference. For example:

  • When two groups of hikers meet on a steep trail, there may be contention for use of the trail. To avoid conflict, a custom has developed in some areas whereby the group moving uphill has the right-of-way.
  • Being forced to hike much faster or slower than one's natural pace can be annoying, and difficult to maintain consistently. More seriously, walking unnaturally fast dramatically increases fatigue and exhaustion, and may cause injury. If a group splits between fast and slow hikers, the slow hikers may be left behind or become lost. A common custom is to encourage the slowest hiker to hike in the lead and have everyone match that speed. Another custom is to have experienced hiker(s) sweep up the rear on a rota, to ensure that everyone in the group is safe and nobody straggles.
  • Hikers generally enjoy the peace of their natural surroundings. Loud sounds such as shouting or loud conversation, or the use of mobile phones, disrupt this enjoyment.

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