Trail Manners 101 from ZIPHERS
Pardonne-moi, could you be a gem and pass the TP and sunscreen, please? Imagine us with our pinkies up speaking in a proper English accent. Just like there are rules to the road, there is an etiquette to hiking trails, darlings. Okay but really, it might seem like common sense to have manners out on the trails, but it doesn't hurt to go over the common courtesies. We're all outside for the same reason, we love adventure. These etiquette tips will ensure a great time out on the trails for you, your hiking peers, and our queen bee, Mother Earth!


Save those snacks for yourself girlfriend, the animals do not need your spicy trail mix. You'll most likely encounter some wildlife on your hikes and it's best not to feed them. Animals are used to their regular diet and giving them human treats might make them sick. Either that or you'll have a new friend following you around to see what else you've got in that backpack!


We can all agree going uphill is a little more strenuous than going downhill, right? For that reason, downhill climbers should always yield to the uphill warriors. There's a lot of gravity pulling you down when you're on an incline, narrowing your field of vision. You might even be thinking of that frozen margarita waiting for you when you make it back down the trail. Then you get jealous of the downhill hiker you encounter, who's that much closer to the frozen margarita. It's a whole thing. And we can probably agree no one likes to be snuck up on, right? We definitely do not so if you'd like to pass someone walking in front of you, give them a nice and loud verbal passing signal, so they don't get spooked and hurt themselves, you, or both.


BIKERS yield to HIKERS (unless on slopes)
EVERYONE yields to HORSEBACK RIDERS (no, you're not imagining a horse)
DOWNHILL hikers yield to UPHILL hikers (you'll get your marg)


We don't make the news, we just report it! The National Park Services website has listed in great detail the guiding principles to "Leave No Trace," written out to help minimize the human impact on our trails' wildlife, plants, and even our entire ecosystems. Definitely take a minute and give the article a read, as it can apply to any recreational activity but more importantly, keep our planet beautifully preserved for our future generations to enjoy! 

Because of who we are, there is one principle we'd like to highlight and that is to dispose of waste properly. Going to the bathroom while hiking is inevitable if you do it long enough and if you're like us, your bladder is the size of a raisin and you have to go often. Thank you, kids!

Naturally, you'll be wearing your Zip Hers on your hike. When it's time to go, if there aren't any toilet facilities to use, look for a spot in nature about 200 feet away from the trail, campsite, or any water source (or wherever is safest), and handle your business. You'll want to remember to pack out any toilet paper or hygiene products you use, as they do not belong outside whatsoever. We've even got a little video for you to check out here, showing you a cheap and easy way to pack it in and pack it out!


See, common sense! As long as we all respect each other and what's around us, we'll be able to enjoy the outdoors for years to come and beyond. Just think, if you wouldn't do it in your own house, you probably shouldn't do it "out there" either. Now get out there and have some fun!
July 11, 2022 — Debbie Mercer

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