Searching for the most important Do’s and Don’ts during Hiking? You’ve reached the right place. Let’s face it, only a handful of outdoor activities beats hiking. Getting to walk through nature, breathe clean air, and soak in the stunning view can be a refreshing experience to take a break from the common stress of day-to-day life.
But as invigorating as hiking can be, it comes with several risks. Thankfully, there are many ways to minimize your risk of encountering an emergency. And in this post, we explore 5 Do’s and 5 Don’ts during hiking.
Do’s during Hiking
#1 Go with the essentials
Unless you’re planning on having a horrible experience, don’t forget to take essential supplies. This includes food and water, hiking boots, waterproof trail map, sunscreen and insect repellent, rain gear and extra clothing, first aid kit, headlamp or flashlight, matches or lighter, a knife, and other tools.
#2 Keep your dog on a leash
Hiking with your dog can be a lovely experience. And while you might be tempted to take your dog off the leash, generally speaking, that’s not a good idea. Why? Because your dog can wander off the trail and come into confrontation with wildlife like raccoons. This exposes your dog to the risk of injury and diseases.
#3 Watch your feet
Hiking trails are seldom smooth. That’s why you need to watch where you’re going. Believe it or not, stepping in the wrong place could mean twisting your ankle, tripping, or slipping on a rock. And if you’re unlucky, it could mean stepping on a venomous snake that may strike back.
#4 Acknowledge other hikers
As you move along the trail, you’re probably going to come across other hikers. You don’t need to give them a warm hug, but it’s just polite to acknowledge them. Just say hi or, at the very least, give them a head nod.
#5 Do give uphill the right of way
Either you’re northbound or southbound, it’s the convention that if there isn’t enough room for everyone, then the person traveling downhill should move aside to allow the person climbing upwards to continue hiking. The exception being when the person climbing upwards explicitly signals to the downwards climber to come first.
Don’ts during Hiking
#1 Leave no trace
If there’s anything you should remember, this is it – the golden rule of hiking. When you hike, you’re intruding into wild habitat, and you must respect the environment.
Don’t leave the designated trail. Don’t litter or throw fruit peels. Do break tree branches or disturb the environment in any way. Don’t leave empty water bottles and poop bags along the way. But why should any of this be remembered?
Imagine everybody acted irresponsibly. It’s only a matter of time before the natural environment becomes compromised. And you not only ruin the experience for other hikers, but your actions can also negatively impact wildlife.
#2 Never hike alone
I get it, you’re an experienced hiker. You know the trail like the palm of your hands. What harm would hiking alone do? To be honest, while solo hiking itself isn’t automatically dangerous, emergencies do arise. And it’s always safer when you’re not alone.
Even if you’re hell-bent on solo hiking, then you MUST notify someone before you take off, so they can raise an alarm should things go south.
#3 Never touch or feed wild animals
This is probably one of the most important don’ts during hiking. During your hike, you might see raccoons, foxes, or any other animal lurking around. And while it might be tempting to interact with wildlife, don’t do that. According to A&D Construction Plus (is a reputable wildlife removal company), most wild animals like raccoons are known to carry various diseases. Interacting with them puts you at risk of being seriously bitten or infected.
What’s more, the last thing you want is for wild animals to lose their fear of humans. By feeding them, you’re encouraging them to approach humans when they see one. This is not desirable.
#4 Don’t fear getting lost
If you get lost, it’s only natural to get into panic mode. But now’s not the time to be afraid. Take deep breaths to calm your nerves down. Look at your guide to see if you can find anything familiar.
If you can’t, then it’s time to backtrack. Backtrack until you get to a familiar spot as indicated by your guide. If that doesn’t work, now’s the time to hit your GPS rescue beacon, if you have one. You can also call or text 911 or the designated emergency contact.
#5 Don’t spread yourself all-Around
Ensure that you keep your gear as organized and compact as possible. You don’t want to encroach too far on other hikers or public spaces.
I hope you enjoyed these Do’s and Dont’s during Hiking, and that you’ll implement them wisely!
Want to read more of our latest posts? Check out how to make the most of your first-time trip to NYC.
Alex is a computer geek, programmer, who loves traveling. Not the usual mix, but Alex is always with his laptop – no matter how high the mountain he’s hiking on. On every peak he reaches, he writes a story that captures it all.