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#ProtectTheWild: 5 Ways You Can Be Considerate Of Others In The Outdoors

The great outdoors is a shared space.

By: Anna Cohen + Save to a List

One of the reasons why people head into the wild is to experience the peace and solitude that nature offers. That is why it is so important to be considerate of others while exploring outside. In fact, maintaining courtesy towards others while camping, hiking, or backpacking is one of the most crucial, but often times overlooked, ethical components of adventuring. Here are five ways in which you can #ProtectTheWild and make sure you are being considerate of other visitors:

Camp on Big Bluff | Photo: Parker Dodson

1. Keep noise levels down.

Jamming around a campfire with your buddies may sound fun, but it’s probably not so fun for that person camping just across the lake from you. They probably came out here to get away from the noise and racket of civilization and enjoy a little quiet alone time. Try to keep your voices and music down in consideration of others.

2. Keep your dog under control.

You know your dog is awesome. That cat person hiking down the trail towards you does not. In fact, many people are scared of dogs or just plain don’t like them. Be sure to keep your dog under control and keep it restrained with a leash when passing others. Be sure to keep an eye on your dog so that you can prevent him from terrorizing or hurting any wildlife and always clean up after your pet!

3. Take care of the land.

Ahh…the wilderness. Mountains, trees, rivers…trash? Don’t leave your garbage lying around - it takes away from the beauty of nature. People didn’t hike into the backcountry just to be surrounded by wrappers and other trash when they finally get to the campsite. Same goes for taking care to leave things just how you left them. Don’t go breaking branches, trampling plants, bushwhacking new trails, or moving rocks around. It disrupts the natural order of things. Leave the wild as it is. It will be more enjoyable for others who come after you.

Hike to Tall Trees Grove, Redwood NP | Photo: Brian Fulda

4. Obey the rules of the trail.

Livestock always gets the right of way. If you come up on a party traveling with livestock, move off the trail to let them pass. If you are mountain biking, be sure to be polite by letting other know before you pass them.

5. Respect the privacy of others.

You may be the world’s biggest extrovert and think everyone you encounter is a new friend, but be sure you respect the fact that a lot of people head outdoors in order to have some alone time. Set up your tent away from other people. Try to find spots with trees that offer screening and additional privacy. Respect other people’s space and allow them to have their alone time. If you guys end up sharing a beer and watching the sunset together, that’s great too! Just be sure you are tuned into social cues and back off if your fellow adventurer seems like they just want to be left alone.

To learn more about how you can #ProtectTheWild, check out the Leave No Trace Seven Principles.

Cover photo: Jason Hatfield

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace principles on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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