Some Etiquette On The Hiking Trail Goes A Long Way

Doug Williams

Have you ever been on a hike and it’s just not gone right because of other people not being considerate? All of us need to think of others when we’re using common paths and trails, when we’re conscious of other people it’s better for them and better for us.

So, here are some hiking etiquette tips for you to keep in mind.


As we all know, hiking is an excellent outdoor activity for anyone looking for both a good workout and a memorable experience. It seems that these days, many people really enjoy hiking and are getting out on the trails a lot more.


It can be a relatively inexpensive way to have a nice vacation and also get an incredible experience, you can get exercise in and to see some truly amazing sights. Depending on where you go, some of those sights can be once in a lifetime opportunities.

While hiking is a great activity, there are some etiquette tips that everyone should follow so that the hiking trail can be preserved for future generations. What follows are some situations that may arise while someone is hiking and what would be the proper and polite way to handle the situation.

One problem that hikers often encounter is the presence of feces or manure from domestic animals. Many people will find that the pleasure of their hike is ruined by having to dodge poop that animals have left and that their owners did not clean up. This can be extremely frustrating for many people, especially if someone is not necessarily looking out while they are hiking, usually because they want to take in all of the scenery. They can end up stepping on poop and ruining their shoes or smelling badly the rest of the day.


The proper thing to do for anyone bringing an animal with them is to bring something, like a plastic bag, to clean up after their pets. This way there is no excrement on the trail to ruin the experience for others. For people who ride horses while on a trail, cleaning up after the horse poop is much harder. It is suggested that the rider should keep their horse moving while they’re pooping so that the mess is not in one big pile but rather spread out, so as to not ruin the aesthetic of the surrounding.

While on the subject of horses, the fact that they may defecate en route is not the only obstacle that one may face on a hiking trail.


There is also the question of how someone may pass someone else who is on horseback too. Many times hiking trails can be fairly narrow, so it can be hard to navigate if there are a good number of people on the trail. Even more so if those people are on a horse or a bike or something that takes up more space on the trail.

Continue to read on next page

The best way for someone to pass a horse while on a relatively narrow hiking trail would be to start the process before you even see the horse. While this may sound counter-intuitive, it actually does make sense; when someone is hiking, he or she should be very aware of everything that is going on around them.

If there is a blind curve, they should proceed with caution and slow down so that they are not going too fast. If there happens to be a scenario where a horse and a person who is passing cannot both comfortably fit on the trail, then the person who is not on the horse should go to the side. It will be easier for that person to maneuver rather than trying to have the horse do it.

Another important scenario to consider for people about to go on a nice long hike is what to do when they see water or a lake off the hiking trail.



Someone who is hiking should not treat a lake that they see out in nature like it is their own natural bath. While it is okay for someone to clean themselves a bit in a lake or river while they are camping or backpacking on a longer hike, it is not a very considerate thing and not very good for the environment either.

Soaps and shampoos or other sorts of cleaning products can pollute the water and cause damage to the wildlife around the area who are not used to such unnatural substances.

Another thing that is important for anyone hiking to consider is that they should really stick to the trail. There is a reason that the trail is carved out a certain way on big hikes that stretch throughout the country.


Many times there are a lot of signs that tell you not to go somewhere, and some people will ignore that. It can be dangerous for the person and also many times the wildlife too. If there are signs telling you not to go somewhere, or to not do something, they are there for a reason and should be adhered to.

These are just some tips that everyone should follow while hiking so that they can show respect to the environment, the other people who are going to be hiking on the trail, and the wildlife that live in the area.


And another side effect of being considerate is that people like you and you’ll have a much more pleasant exchange with other people and a much better overall experience on the trail.
Outdoor Revival – Reconnecting you with the Outdoors.


fmssolution is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival