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Tips for Hiking Etiquette

Ahhh September. This is the perfect month to enjoy a day hike since the weather is usually a bit cooler, but still gorgeous. Since you already know what to pack, now all you need to know are some rules of hiking etiquette and ways to ensure you have the least amount of impact.

  • Stick to the dirt trail. It'll keep you safe and it will protect the natural environment. If everyone trampled wherever they wanted, there wouldn't be much plant life to enjoy.
  • If it's a hike you're not too familiar with pack a map of the trail, a GPS device and a compass. Getting lost is no fun. Also be considerate to your friends and family and let them know where you are going and when you'll be back. If anything happens, you want people to know where to look for you.
  • If you bring your dog, there may be a rule about keeping him or her on a leash. Follow this rule, as there may be fellow hikers on the trail who have other dogs or who are afraid of them. Be sure to clean up after your dog too.
  • Pack a small garbage bag so you can keep track of your trash and pick up after other messy hikers.

There's more you should know before hitting the trail. To find out

  • Don't disturb animals or their homes. If you see a beaver dam, just be an observer, and take a few pics if you want.
  • Along the same lines, don't pick flowers or plants. Leave them for others to enjoy. It's also not a smart idea to touch plants since you don't know which might be poison ivy.
  • Be one with nature. This means to keep your voice down and don't blare any loud music. If you scare off the wildlife, you won't have any amazing sounds to see and hear.
  • If you need to go number one, do so far away from the trail and any natural water sources. If you need to go number two, make sure you dig a hole first. Use nature's toilet paper (dead leaves) and bury it all when you're done.
  • If you see any damage to the trail or trail signs, note the exact location, and be sure to contact the proper authorities.


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