Trail Safety & Etiquette
Hiking takes us into some of our planet’s most unique and beautiful environments. These environments, however, are ones that require respect, both as regards safety and ethical practices and behavior.
If the first thing that should go into your pack is your hydration system, the second thing should be a source of illumination. Every year, thousands of hikers get lost or injured in the wilds or mountains. Every year, a few thousand less would do so if equipped with a reliable headlamp to help them find their way and avoid trips, slips, and falls after lingering too long on the trails.
Getting lost and injuring yourself tops the list of subjective dangers posed when hiking. One of the most compelling objective dangers is wildlife.
From the puny (ticks, bees) to the prodigious (bears, moose, wild boar), nature is full of critters more than capable of spoiling our fun if we fail to take adequate care and carry the required safety gear.
So what to do?
Always carry a well-stocked first aid kit to treat injuries, stings, or bites delivered by smaller wildlife. With their larger brethren, of course, prevention is far preferable to the cure, and bringing along a reliable deterrent when heading into their neck of the woods is always a good policy.
Finally, wherever your adventures take you, it’s well worth bearing in mind that you represent a danger in and of yourself, both to the wellbeing of wildlife and the enjoyment of other hikers.
This being so, learning how to behave responsibly, mindfully, and respectfully in backcountry environments is something your fellow hikers and the area’s more feral inhabitants will thank you for.
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