Setting out on your first hiking trip? Then take the time to read this article. Since a lot of
people wonder what they should bring with them on a hiking trip, what to do if you see a
coyote, and what practices to avoid on a hike, we thought we’d address that.
Below, you’ll find our favourite (and least favourite) hiking practices to make your next
outing both safe and memorable.
Do: Double-check your essentials.
During hiking, it’s paramount that you’re prepared for any eventuality since you won’t be
able to stop at a shop while on a hike or take shelter in a cafe in case of rain. So
make sure you bring essential supplies, like food and water (pack a
more severe meal and several snacks to power you along the way).
Pack your rain
gear (rain boots, raincoat, etc.), and if possible, bring a waterproof map of the trail
you’re hiking. It can get tricky to orient yourself during a vicious downpour, which might affect the signal, rendering your GPS useless.
One of the golden rules of hiking says that you should leave no trail of your presence.
While hiking, you are venturing into a wild, natural habitat. Thus, it would help if you were mindful of
throwing garbage, food wrappers, fruit peels, empty water bottles, or anything else
along the path. We know your pack’s heavy, and you want to cut down on as much
stuff as possible, but littering isn’t the answer.
Do: Keep your dog on a leash.
If hiking with your favourite canine, make sure you keep them on a leash at all times. We
get that this might not sound ideal, but it keeps your dog from scaring other hikers (as is
polite) or from wandering off. Also, going off-trail, your dog may encounter wildlife and even
get into a confrontation with them. Speaking of which…
Don’t: Touch or interact with wild animals.
If you’re bothered by a wild animal, reach out to an expert at nuisancewildliferangers.com. An expert will also be able to advise you on the dos and don’ts of hiking through wildlife-heavy areas. For example, touching a wild animal on a hike should be strictly forbidden because they might perceive it as aggressive and attack you. Not only that, it may also expose you to severe illnesses that animal carries.
Do: Say hi.
While hiking, it’s pretty likely you’ll come across other hikers. When you do, hiking
etiquette dictates that you acknowledge them somehow. So say hi, or at least nod your
head in acknowledgment. You can even stop and exchange a few words with
them if you like.
Don’t: Hike alone.
If you’re an experienced hiker, hiking alone may seem quite tempting, especially if
you’re familiar with the trail. However, while we get that, you never know when an emergency will arise, so it’s wise to bring someone along to help you in case something terrible happens.
If you insist on hiking alone, make sure you notify someone of your whereabouts and
your plans, to be able to inform the authorities if something happens.
Do: Give uphill the right of way.
This is a common question during hikes – when hikers are coming from both directions,
who has the right of way? Well, hiking etiquette dictates that those coming uphill have
the right of way in this situation and that you should wait to one side while the people are
moving up the path pass by.
If you lose your way, try to keep calm. If you can’t seem to make sense of the road
ahead, start backtracking, and this should be enough to bring you back to the familiar
trail. If not, reach out to 911 or your emergency contact.