Trail Etiquette

We all remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Put simply, treat others the way you would like to be treated. This proverb extends to our relationships with fellow hikers, climbers, campers, and paddlers and sums up the seventh and final Leave No Trace principle. “Each of…

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  Eileen Yin spent most of her spring online with AMC. A long-time volunteer with the organization’s New York–North Jersey Chapter, Yin has dedicated much of her free time to planning and leading trips for her chapter, providing a space for members to socialize, try new activities, or just be outdoors. “AMC made a big…

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Three months after many Americans began physical distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19, most states are beginning the slow process of reopening their economies and public spaces. For outdoor enthusiasts, this means a return to some natural recreational areas that haven’t been accessible for the last several months. But despite the urge to get…

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  I’m standing in the dining room at AMC’s Madison Spring Hut, and even though it’s late August, I can’t get warm. Two friends and I have just returned from Mount Madison’s 5,366-foot summit, where a sturdy gale-force wind battered our sweat-soaked bodies already weary from a climb that covered 3,500 feet of elevation in…

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Whether it’s a bag stuck in a tree or a bottle floating in a pond or stream, litter of single-use plastics is not only an eyesore; it is damaging to the natural environment, endangering our trails and waterways. Each year, the nonprofit Break Free from Plastic—a “global movement working to stop plastic pollution for good”—sets…

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  Thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail face many challenges while striving for their goal. Just ask the Crawfords, a family of eight from Bellevue, Ky., who in 2018 became the biggest family to complete a thru-hike of the 2,192-mile trail. Sure, there’s the elevation gain over rocky paths, whining kids on the trail, and even…

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A lot more goes into planning a day hike than choosing your target elevation. Here’s a starter checklist. Consider the group. When choosing a route, think about the companions with whom you’ll be hiking. If you’re hiking with a novice, choose a trail that’s beginner-friendly; if you’re hiking with an experienced mountaineer, choose a hike…

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How essential is it to put your food in bear boxes even if there aren’t any bears in the area? While bears can be a major concern, they’re not the only wild animals that pose a risk. We see it all too often. Campers arrive after a long slog overs hills and rivers to finally reach home. In an effort…

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Mud season can be a challenge for hikers and trail maintainers alike. So if you want to hike in the spring, knowing how to safely enjoy soggy trails without destroying them is an essential outdoor skill. Wet Trails are Fragile “More and more people are hiking year-round, and while it is wonderful to have people…

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On almost any hike, you’re likely to encounter other people on the trail. Good trail etiquette helps ensure that everyone enjoys their experience outdoors and that the trail is left in good condition for its next visitors. In this outdoor skills video, AMC experts Eboni Cooper and Mike Miccuci explain how to be a good…

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