Top 5 Rules When It Comes To Hiking
It’s important to remember – natures beauty isn’t just there for your enjoyment. Treat it with care and respect so we can continue to take in nature's wonders for years to come! By practicing these five tips of being a respectful and responsible hiker you can lead as an example to others while also ensuring your own safety.
1. Pack in Pack Out
This motto says it all: “Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints.” Whatever you bring on your hike with you, should also leave with you and be disposed of properly. Any hike you go on should be left as you found it, or better! If you find any trash or litter along the way do nature a kindness and pick it up.
2. Stick to the Trail
The trails are there for a reason, well two reasons, so you know the way and so the surrounding vegetation doesn’t get damaged with too much traffic. It not only helps protect the surroundings to stay on the path but it’s also safer. The Black Hills are home to so many beautiful things but some less inviting things are found here as well: like poison ivy.
3. Be Respectful to Wildlife
They didn’t ask you into their home, so keep a safe distance. I know it can be exciting to see some of the area’s wildlife out and about but it’s important to remember just that, they are wild.
4. Be Prepared
It’s important to make sure you and your family are prepared when going on a hike. Make sure to pack plenty of water, food and a first aid kit. For people like myself who faint at the sight of blood, band aids are crucial. Being prepared also means to plan ahead. Always check the weather before heading out for a hike to make sure clear skies are in the forecast. Dress appropriately for the hike and always make sure to let someone know where and when you are going hiking or bring a hiking partner with.
5. Respect Other Hikers
Hiking etiquette is a real thing. If you are on a popular path you will run into other hikers. Prefer to take it slow? Make sure to move over and let others go around you so you’re not holding anyone up. Keep noise levels to a minimum so you don’t disrupt the experience for others and always move over to the trail edges if you need to take a breather. If you’re descending a steep trail and meet hikers coming the opposite direction always move to the side. It takes a lot more energy to go up than it does to go down, so it’s polite to give them the right of way.
The beauty and closeness of the Black Hills is one of my favorite parts about living in Rapid City. I love sharing my favorite trails with others and talking with visitors who are interested in getting out and hiking, but it’s extremely important for everyone to remember – leave no trace.