by dave swoish, finance and sales analyst
Any given weekend, you can find me out on the trails racking up the miles. And it may seem like the "Wild West" to many, but if everyone follows these tips, we can all enjoy sharing the trails!
Pack it in, pack it out. It's simple: clean up after yourself and don't leave behind litter on the trail. Maybe even pick up litter you see near the path. It helps keep the trails beautiful for everyone.
Say 'Hello' and announce yourself whenever you encounter others. This time of year, any trail that routes you onto the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) means you'll run into at least a few thru-hikers. It's polite to let them know you're coming (and helps keep the trails safe), and it's always nice to chat with fellow hikers/runners and see how they're doing!
Follow Leave No Trace principles and make sure to dig a 6-8 inch cat hole to use. Recently, I was on a week long rafting trip in the Rogue River Wilderness. On an early morning trail run, I encountered a scattered pile of used toilet paper someone had obviously chose to not "pack out" along the trail. It was gross. Don't be gross. Nobody wants that.
And this includes if your dog poops! Put it in a plastic bag and bury it.
Yes, again. This is important. Hopefully, it's starting to sink in that trash is a major issue and you don't need to be littering on momma Earth. You know those gels, chews, and other performance foods you're carrying? Keep the trash with you until you find an trashcan.
I love dogs. Dogs are great. Dogs that don't know how to behave are not great. Please keep your dogs on a leash. It's the rule on most trails and it's for everyone's safety, including yours and your pup's. And please don't take them on trails unless they are comfortable with people (and possibly horses) and are well behaved.
Don't wear headphones in both ears. It's a safety hazard. You can't hear others, and definitely won't hear Bigfoot approaching!
Right of Way
Always yield to the uphill. It may not seem like everyone does this, but uphill traffic always has the right of way. On occasion, someone might "wave you through." if they do, you can continue on, but understand that might not always be the case!
Stick To the Trail
There's a path for a reason. Going off-trail can disrupt and harm the environment.
Are you noticing a theme? Keep those trails clean and you'll have all the good vibes on your next run!
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