Trail Advice Hiking Like A Pro in the Great Outdoors

Trail Advice Hiking Like a Pro in the Great Outdoors


Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of people are finding a way of escaping to the outdoors and discovering that in this pandemic the great outdoors is more than just fresh air and new environments. Besides, the great outdoors cleanses the body, mentally and physically! 

Driving up the mountains in a 4-wheel drive is a great experience, but nothing compares when you are up there hiking and feeling the ground. Nature is all beauty! But what about day hiking with families, friends, and your beloved dogs? In this article, we will talk about day hiking like a pro. Why? It is because an alarming throng of inexperienced trekkers has been noticed descending on America’s parks and trails. But what is more shocking is that this happened not only in the USA but globally! Because of the pandemic, more so! These results in an increase in litter, overused trails and paths, and a sharp increase in search-and-rescue calls.

It is projected that even after COVID-19 is vanquished, many newbie hikers would likely continue to enjoy wandering what is the great outdoors! It is therefore important to learn the proper hiking etiquette. And just like any activity, hiking involves specific accepted practices

Here are the most important.

1. Hike at A Consistent Pace - 

 Sounds easy right? But most hikers failed in this very first step. Hikers should not waste a lot of energy by starting too fast. waste a lot of energy by starting too fast. Start slow, say an easy 1 - 2 mph (1.61 - 3.22 kph), and then settle down into a sustainable 2 – 3 mph (3.22 - 4.83 kph). Remember to take short breaks of 10 minutes max. Intake of calories is also very advisable. Also aim to finish the day at the same pace you have been maintaining. Additionally, when bringing a pet, be sure to keep it on a leash and under control. Also do not forget to pack out pet waste. 

2. Do Not Ever Underestimate the Trail -

Underestimating the trail could be fatal! Yes, it could be an amazing experience to stroll down a hiking trail of the great outdoors. A hiking trail with stunning vistas, waterfalls, wildlife, and more around you, nature has also downsides and it could be dangerous. This could be heat exhaustion, overexertion, or leg injuries primarily from improper footwear. Mostly this happens to inexperienced hikers who had underestimated the trail and overestimated their abilities. To prevent this to happen be sure to look at trail maps, including the topography before heading out. 

At the starting point, always asks any questions about the local weather, gear, or trail difficulty. Be guided always with the “11 Practical Hiking Tips for The Newbies” and the “10 essentials” packing list created some time ago. In the list are some essentials such as extra food, water, and clothing; a navigation device; fire source; knife; first-aid kit; headlamp; sun protection. And shelter or shield from the elements, such as a light emergency bivvy (outdoor sleeping bag). These essential items will prove vital if you encounter an accident or become lost and need to spend the night in the woods, which at any time can happen.

3. Be Respectful to Fellow Hikers – 

Being courteous to fellow hikers has been an accepted hiking practice for decades. If you want to pass a fellow hiker in front of you, give them a friendly greeting and let them know you want to overtake. A must! Besides, being a courteous hiker also helps the resident wildlife, which may want quiet and serene spaces to hear nature’s sounds for their interaction and survival. Moreover, do not talk too loud since each hiker heads into the great outdoors to enjoy all the sights, sounds, and smells of nature. Additionally, do not bring along an uncontrolled pet! Additionally, creating any kind of graffiti is a no-no!

4. Know When to Step Off or Stay on the Trail -

When on the trail, one important practice involves hill etiquette. Hikers going downhill must always step aside from those hiking up hills, as they are expending more energy. 

Hiking trails are created with specific purposes in mind. These may include soil erosion prevention and the protection of fragile flora and fauna in the surroundings. So, as much as possible stay on the trail! Although of course there are a few exceptions such as when "using the restroom." Moreover, it is also appropriate to step off the trail if you want to rest or to have a snack, as this clears the path for others. In a multi-use trail, cyclists must yield to hikers, and hikers must always yield to horses or pack animals. Also, a must for every hiker!

5. Do Not Move Anything Around –

If you want to enjoy the great outdoors for years to come and preserve its natural beauty, do not ever move, or remove a thing from its place. This further means that “no taking home pretty rocks or flowers or creating rock cairns”. Doing so may inadvertently destroy a fragile ecosystem, or an animal's home, or contribute to the surrounding erosion. Leaving everything as it is also applied to wildlife, so do not feed them, do not try to pet a deer, or sneak up on a bear in the hopes of getting a fantastic picture. Though many animals stay hidden in plain sight, others are not too shy. Giving this wildlife food only disrupts their natural foraging habits. So just enjoy them from a safe distance.

6. Leave No Trace –

On the trail, collect all your trash and leave no trace! Anywhere on the trail collect everyone’s trash. Make it a goal to leave a trail more pristine than when it was found. Protect the world’s natural beauty by leaving only footprints and taking only pictures.

People new to the great outdoors may be on to the biggest surprise, that many trails and parks have no facilities such as restrooms or garbage cans. Meaning, each hiker is supposed to carry back out whatever was brought in. Everything foreign to the trail and parks. These include petty things such as tissues, food wrappers, or dirty diapers. Do not think of ever tossing biodegradable items into the woods. What seems to be harmless trash such as apple cores and banana peels could be harmful if ingested by some wild animals. And if possible, ferry out poop (yours’s or your pet’s), unless it is buried 200 feet (61 meters) from the trail or any water sources. Fortunately, today it is easy to pack out trash with minimal mess by carrying some zip-top bags.


Hiking through the great outdoors may be one of the most profound and fulfilling achievements of a hiker’s life. It is a transformative experience. Hikers spend time connecting with nature, building physical and mental endurance, and developing lasting friendships along the trail. Therefore, mustering enough courage to set out on the first hike journey may well be the best decision ever made.