During this year's annual Board Retreat, we talked a lot about how to address conflicts between hikers and trail towns business owners, which is becoming more frequent as the numbers of hikers on long distance trails grows. One thing that came out of this discussion was the idea to create a set of guidelines for how to behave in town. While most of these behaviors may seem like obvious common courtesy, some things may be easy to forget when you're a weary hiker walking into town. So let's all do our best to be good ambassadors of the hiking community and maintain positive relationships with trail towns!
"Just because you live in the woods doesn't mean you have to act like an animal"
The Ten Commandments for Hikers in Town
- Ask permission before filling water bottles, charging electronics, drying gear, dumping trash, hanging out in business space, using restrooms, drinking alcohol on premises, tying up your dog, and setting up your tent.
- Find a place out of public eye and out of the way to take care of resupply (opening and sorting packages, repackaging resupply).
- Refrain from personal grooming in a public spaces.
- Honor common dress decorum by refraining from walking around without shirt/pants (when washing clothes, change into your rainwear out of public eye and wear it until your hiking clothes are ready)
- When someone offers a ride or any services, remember that you are on THEIR schedule.
- Tip 20% in restaurants.
- Offer to pay for any services being offered.
- Talk to other hikers when you see behaviors that are detrimental to the hiking community as a whole.
- Everything you do in town represents the hiking community as a whole.
- Say please and thank you for EVERYTHING.