Proper Ettiquette on the Trail


Remember to hike single-file when with a group.

Common sense seems like a typical response to how to behave on the trail, but you’d be surprised how many have no clue. My friends over at Modern Hiker kindly put together a few tips that everyone should consider while adventuring outdoors.

(Read the full article on REI’s blog. Bullet points below are quoted from the article.)

Hikers vs. Hikers

  • Hikers going uphill have the right of way. This is because hikers heading up an incline often have a smaller field of vision and may also be in that “hiking rhythm” zone and not in the mood to break their pace.
  • If you’re about to pass another hiker from behind, announce your presence, even with a simple “hello”.
  • When passing, always stay on the trail to reduce erosion.
  • In group hiking, always hike single-file, never taking up more than half the trail space, and stay on the trail itself. Over time, those off-trail boot prints can badly erode switchbacks and destroy drainage diversions.
  • When a group meets a single hiker, it’s preferable for the single hiker to yield and step safely to the side.

Hikers vs. Bikers

  • Bikers are generally expected to yield to hikers on the trail, though it’s usually easier for hikers to yield the right of way—especially if a mountain biker is huffing and puffing up a tough incline.
  • Bikers should never expect a hiker to yield.
  • Bikers should call out as they come down steep slopes or blind switchbacks, and should also let hikers know if there are other bikers following them.
  • Hikers should also be aware of their surroundings on shared trails, particularly with mountain bikes quickly coming around any bend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.