Wednesday, 30 September 2015


In life, rules are set to help govern the activities of individuals and make things more enjoyable for all involved. While there are written rules that maintain, unwritten ones such as not cutting in line at a bank or keeping the elbows off the table while eating enforce etiquette for different settings.

Ramona Maharaj City of Hamilton

When it comes to hiking, there are rules that make the experience pleasant for everyone. Among the most common practices are:

Plan ahead

Research on the region you plan to hike and the weather conditions common to the area. Prepare for any weather surprises and minimize any impact by hiking as a small group.

Waste disposal

Whatever you bring with you ensure you take it out. This includes biodegradable waste such as fruit peelings and food wrappers and containers. Also, pick up any trash you come across that’s left by other hikers. Human waste should be buried in 6-8 inch deep holes that are not near any water source.

Look, but don’t take!

You can admire nature and all it has to offer, but leave everything in its natural habitat. Avoid picking rocks or plucking leaves and plants from their natural settings.

Don’t feed the animal

While many animals will not be particularly inclined to show themselves, there are some that will want a sniff of what you eat. Resist the urge to give them food as it will only disrupt their hunting habits.

Walk through puddles

Avoid walking around puddles or any obstacles that cause the trail to widen. Taking shortcuts or going around a puddle is not good for the sustainability of the trail.

Ramona Maharaj, from the City of Hamilton, has been hiking for years. While teaching in South America, she had the chance to enjoy some of the continent’s scenic hiking trails.