5 Important Trail Tips Nobody Ever Told You

Before you embark on your next adventure, make sure you find out what random people from the internet have to say about it.

By: Calvin Weibel

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1. Crank up the music.

Many of us love to listen to music when we hit the trail.  Keep in mind that other people use the trail as well, so it's important to be courteous.  Unfortunately, when you use regular earbuds, most people can't hear your music.  Hikers always want to hear what you're listening to, so consider carrying a speaker of some kind so everyone can share in the experience.  The people around you want to enjoy the same music as you, so don't allow them to feel left out.

2. Leave some for the wildlife.

The wilderness is full of critters who scavenge for all of their food.  These little guys have to search for and gather everything they eat, and they never know where their next meal is going to come from.  

This is where you come in.  As a visitor in the wilderness, it's your personal responsibility to keep these animals fed.  Many of these animals aren't picky, so consider leaving your trash behind for them.  Smaller animals are more than happy to go through your trash for food, while larger animals like bears generally prefer to be fed by hand.

3. Be vocal.

On any trip into the wilderness, there are always a number of things that can go wrong.  It's important for the people around you to understand the issues you face in your everday life.

Strangers care deeply about your problems, and it helps to share with them the things you have to deal with on a daily basis.  When you meet people on the trail, consider complaining about your coffee or loudly sharing your political views in an obnoxious way.  Your fellow outdoorsmen came to hear your opinions, so don't let them go home disappointed. 

If it ever starts to rain at all, you need to decisively recognize that your entire weekend is ruined, life hates you, and human civilization as we know it will likely come to an end.  Be vocal about this.  It's critical that everyone around you shares your attitude toward foul weather.  

4. Teach fellow hikers patience by walking slowly in front of them and blocking the full width of the path wherever possible.  

Patience is a virtue.  In our fast-paced world, it's important to slow down and take a breath.  Go for a stroll.  This is a great way to wind-down and take it easy. 

However, sometimes there are others on the trail who don't share this mindset.  These people are mindless ignorant scum and it's your personal duty to set them straight.  There is only one valid way to enjoy the wilderness, and these people are doing it wrong.  Take your time by walking slowly down the middle of a narrow trail when there are hikers behind you.  If those bastards try to pass you, simply move in front of them at a slow-but-steady pace.  Pro tip: avoid eye contact and pretend you just aren't aware of the line of people waiting to pass you from behind.  

Blocking an entire trail is a difficult skill to master, but it's worth it.  The other hikers may not realize it, but you're doing them a favor.  

5. Understand your goals.

Before going into the wilderness, it's important to understand what you expect to achieve while you visit. 

A good trip is measured by the amount of validation you receive through social media posts you made in the process.  Sometimes when you visit the mountains, you'll meet people who just want to enjoy their hike.  These people are ignorant fools.  It's best just to look past these hopeless individuals, knowing that they're inferior to you because you will accumulate more likes on the internet, which is what really matters.

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

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