Naughty Vs. Nice Hiker

The naughty vs nice hiker. In other words, a little hiking etiquette never hurt anyone. This might even prevent you from getting some coals under the christmas tree. Follow these “rules” and you’ll be on your merry way in no time. Although rules are meant to be broken in my book. Hike at your own risk. Let us know if you have any other etiquette ideas in the comments below! We’d love to hear them, or read them in this case.

1. Leave No Trace vs. Leaving Traces

I respect that you want to be like E.T. and leave stuff behind but I think I speak for everyone when I say pick up what you drop. I can guarantee you that mother nature doesn’t like a litter bug. All other bugs are probably fine though. Respect your mother.

2. Smoker vs. Non Smoker

For this one, I say leave the smoke to the campfire. Walking down a trail with a gorgeous blue lake in the background after huffing and puffing your way there is rewarding. Not to mention your hanging out with nothing but fresh alpine air to take a deep breath to. Doesn’t get much better than that..EXCEPT when you come up on that person that just has to get smoke in. Damn.

3. Santa vs. Grinch

Santa is a pretty happy guy. You could even say he’d greet you upon passing on the trail. Grinch on the other hand just blows by and doesn’t even bat an eyelash. Sometimes it’s nice to greet each other upon passing and what not. Be a happy soul, you’re outside for crying out loud. You don’t have to strike a whole conversation or anything but at least say hello.

4. Poop Scoopin’ vs. Pooch Poopin’ 

Hiking with your hairy best friend can be one of the most rewarding things in life. They love you no matter what and go where ever you go. However sometimes your hairy best friend needs to poop and sometimes you don’t want to pick it up. Sometimes we gotta do things we don’t want to so other hikers don’t step in it. This could be a human, dog, elf, or reindeer. Hike with who ever you want, just scoop that poop along the way.

5. Take the Slopes vs. Give the Slip

It’s said that you should give way, or give the slip if you encounter someone sweating their way up the hill. This is because they are using much more energy to go up the hill than you going down the hill. You can go ahead and take the slopes if they wave you by for a break. What do you think? Should this be opposite? Leave a comment to let us know!

6. Trailgating vs. Giving a Heads Up

When you’re hiking, biking, even driving a car the norm is to pass on the left. Similar to tailgating in your car trailgating is exactly what you would expect, trailing on someones heels. No one wants a “flat tire” as we used to call it back in the day. I’m only 24 can I say that? Just give a heads up when you’re coming up on someone you’d like to pass. A simple “Excuse me, mind if I pass?” or “Passing on your left” on a bike is a pretty common one. (I just want to note I feel like I came up with a new term there, trailgating. Just in case it get’s famous you now know who to call.)

14 thoughts on “Naughty Vs. Nice Hiker

  1. John, I think it just comes down to general respect of others and using common sense. In both directions. We all live our own lives, tho in condensed areas it’s just common courtesy to be mindful of others having their own experience in nature. If it was me walking up on you, some smoke I would avoid being around and others I don’t mind. So I’ll move if I want and let you do your thing. But if I PERSONALLY was doing something in nature that was not part of that experience like playing a speaker of music – not that I do) I would do it in an area people could CHOOSE to avoid; by moving to a space off the main trail. Fortunately for you, you can do whatever you want. There are no laws, just courtesy. You can choose to be discourteous all you want. But it sounds to me like you do care what others think. Or maybe you just like to argue on the internet.

    (Not sure where hypocrisy comes in. I don’t smoke on or next to trails.)


  2. John – I’m not sure how I suddenly became a communist? If I come across someone elses campfire, yes, I end up breathing their smoke, just as I would the smoke from your Newport if we crossed paths on a trail. As you said, the trails belong to everybody, and if campfires are allowed and smoking is allowed, that’s your RIGHT. Whether I agree with it or not, I will still defend your rights as I would anyone elses.


  3. Great thoughts. These are a few of my notes about your notes…
    Smokers can step aside and do what pleases them in a more secluded area where people don’t have to breath it in (whatever kind of smoke it may be). We’re free to do these things in the US, tho we don’t all choose to partake. Just pack it out. And be conscientious of others.
    Not everyone needs to say hello. We all go thru internal struggles and the trail is a great place to sometimes work those things out (sometimes quietly with their head in the stars). Personally, I don’t take offense to people that don’t acknowledge my existence on the trail.
    I think giving uphillers the right of way is the only way. Sure it might stink having a great bikeride down a hill and having to stop in your tracks to wait for a passer by, but imagine how much worse it is having to stop that bikeride going uphill. Seems like it’s the same for hiking, tho uphill hikers I find usually volunteer their right of way for a little break 🙂


    1. The general rule is for uphill hikers to give way on the trail to downhill hikers. I see your point of downhill bike riders giving way – it’s much harder to start uphill on a bike.


    2. One question, though Amy. So suppose you’re hikin’ along and come upon my sitting by a stream and trail, havin’ a puff, and enjoyin’ the sound of the tranqil water. And according to all these complicated rules about what is acceptable smoke for certain people…so am I to drop everything that I was just doing, out here, in the great wide-open, ask which smoke you’re offended by…

      Hypochrisy much??


  4. These are some good general common courtesies for the trail. I generally give way to other hikers whether I’m going uphill or down. I usually greet everyone on the trail – they may be saving your butt later. As trail users, I don’t think we have a 2×4 up our butt – we just extend common courtesies to each other and try to keep Nature as natural as possible. I smoked for many years and would prefer not to suck in someone else’s smoke on the trail when my lungs are trying to get as much oxygen as possible. I’m over 55 and I’ve been around a few blocks myself.


    1. ‘But you don’t mind suckin’ in your campfire smoke do ya?? Nope, you’d be happiest just sittin’ around dictating as to which prefered smoke we’re gonna choose out here for people to inhale. And you don’t see the snobbery of that rationale???


  5. P.S. To put it simply, live and let live, enjoy and quit worrying about what everybody else is doing. You’ll be a lot happier!


  6. So pot smoke is “legal”, but I can’t smoke a Newport in the middle of God’s beautiful country?? I do both, so my guess is that God’s chosen hikers of today rule in favor of their special interests only. Which is exactly why I avoid “trails” completely. You people need to learn how to live without a 2×4 stuck up your ass. Life more pleasant otherwise. I’m 55 by the way and have been around the block a time or two.


    1. …ok, so you don’t mind suckin’ in “other’s” campfire smoke when you hang out and visit at other campfires?? I don’t believe that I’m jumpin’ to any conclusions whatsoever Regis. Let’s face it, you have a very communistic viewpoint when it comes to trail life. And don’t ever forget…these trails belong to “everybody”, and not just your kind.


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