Everywhere Edge

Trail Charms

July 13, 2009

You haven't showered for days, you eat with your hands and signs of civilization are miles away but there's still room for civility in the great outdoors.  But unlike weddings, table settings and when to wear white, the rules of the trail are much simpler.  Check out these tips from Graceful Edge’s Trail Guru, Seth Levy of the American Hiking Society and you’ll be thriving in the wild.

1.    Cheers for the Upward Bound.
   When the going gets tough (i.e defying the forces of gravity), the tough get going. It’s a traditional courtesy to give those ascending the trail the right of way as you descend. So step aside, take a breather and cheer on those walking uphill!

2.     Silence is Golden. Satellite and cell phones are great back-up tools.  Sprained ankles, lost parties, etc.  Catching up on the season finale of Gossip Girl?  Not so much.  Keep the peace and reserve your phone for emergency conversations.

3.    Curtail your pets. It’s the sad and unfortunate truth.  Not everyone loves Rover as much as you.  Keep your pets under control and be aware that many state parks and national parks have leash laws.  All it takes is a scent of deer to send Rover on a wild chase, getting lost and putting you at risk of acting on tip #2.

4.     Spread the Love.   Come one, come all. Trails are a great way to experience the best Mother Nature has to offer.  Further extend the hospitality by encouraging other hikers. The speedy, the leisurely, the aspiring will all appreciate your good intentions.  

5.     Leave no Trace.
If all else fails, remember the 7 principles of “Leave no Trace”.  It’s the hikers’ code to ensure responsible enjoyment of the great outdoors.

1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
4. Leave What You Find
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
6. Respect Wildlife
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Learn more:  www.lnt.org