Monday, November 03, 2014

Being Considerate of Others on the Trail

We share the trail not only with woodland companions but with other hikers, hunters, wanderers, pets
etc. It's important that the outdoor experience is enjoyed not only by us but also by others. The video by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy has good tips for showing consideration to others. Some other tips to consider -

1. The Leave No Trace Principle of Planning and Preparing. By planning your hike so you arrive at the right time, you won't disturb others by a late night arrival. If you find you will be arriving late or just like to night hike, plan to camp out somewhere away from those who will likely be sleeping when you arrive (maps are helpful if your itinerary changes). I was not happy when I found someone setting up a tent right behind mine way past hiker midnight (after 10 PM), shining a headllamp and waking me up. We are not all on the same time table.  

2. If you are leading a large group, like scouts, a youth group, etc, plan to stay away from other individuals. Groups, not matter how hard leaders try, are always noisy Do your homework ahead of time as to where your group will be staying on the trip. Consider alternative ideas and perhaps scout out locations ahead of time. Plan to split up the group if the camping areas will not work. Be flexible in your planning.

3. Watch your pets. Although you may love your dog and feel he or she won't hurt a flea, there are hikers that are genuinely afraid of them and don't wish to share shelter space with a dog, etc. Plan to stay out in your tent and make sure your dog is on a leash when encountering other hikers. Don't assume your dog will get along well with other hikers and with wildlife.

4. Cell phone useage. Do your talking away from the shelter or other communal areas, overlooks, or other hiker gathering places. Many hikers come to the woods to get away from man made devices. Use headphones when listening to music. Think about those around you.

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