HikingGears tipsTips for beginners Practice TipsFamily, babies & childrenSnow & cold weather Where to go ?Hiking responsiblyNature Explore
Try-outs, penalties, match points… You know the tennis or rugby rules off by heart. Where does hiking fit in?
Although there are no universal game rules to speak of, there are important principles which govern the sport and individual places may apply their very own rules.
There is lots of temptation to move away from the path but remember that by staying on the path, you avoid stamping on the different plant species, and contributing to the premature erosion of the land.
If you happen to go over private property, remember to close the fences and barriers which you opened behind you to avoid herds escaping.
To preserve the territory, take back everything you bring out with you! Place waste in pockets or extremely light and compact bags so that you can easily and cleanly take it back with you.
In order to avoid the risk of injuring certain species or disrupting their reproduction cycles, we recommend keeping dogs on a lead.
Depending on how sociable your dog is, other hikers would also appreciate this, especially anyone who leaves their sandwich within sniffing range of a dog during their break, or anyone with a fear of dogs.
Be aware that some places (such as National Parks or Nature Reserves) are not dog-friendly even when dogs are on a lead; be aware of fines!
It is strictly forbidden to pick protected species. In the instance of other species, please be sensible as other hikers appreciate the fact they can enjoy flower-filled landscapes...
In the case of National Forestry Office of France mushrooms, they may be picked for family consumption however they are strictly prohibited to serve commercial purposes.
Only fruit which has fallen to the ground, may be picked. Blueberries: attention, blueberry combs are no longer allowed in some departments, please enquire at the local Tourist Office.
Please also be aware of fines.
Some animals may appear friendly, or even abandoned, if they are young. However by touching them, you risk altering their smell and run the risk that they will be rejected by their parents.
By feeding wild animals, you modify their natural behaviours, and risk making them dependent therefore creating aggressive behaviours towards humans. For example, in some American parks, it is not uncommon to see squirrels stealing from the backpacks of hikers.
By way of a summary, wildlife should simply be observed to remain in its "wild" state.
Mountain bikes, horse riders, hunters, hikers… We all use the trails. Let’s not make too much noise so we can all appreciate nature, and let’s be polite to each other so we can all enjoy the great outdoors.
Innocently melting marshmallows may prove to be a genuine danger dependent on the location and the time of year...Check all regulations in force.
Where possible, try to use areas which have already been used by other hikers, to avoid leaving multiple trails across the landscape.
A "bonus", if surprising, tip... However, if you are not aware, you may harm the biodiversity by moving around seeds and bacteria on your soles originating from other places, particularly following a trip abroad.
To these rules for respecting open spaces, we can also add some recommendations for personal safety so you can return home with peace of mind, click here to review them !
What about you, what are your game rules?