hiking what are the rules of the game - title

Hiking: what are the rules of the game?

Tries, penalties, match points etc. You know the rules of tennis or rugby off by heart. And where does hiking fit in to all this?

Although, there are no universal rules to speak of, there are some key principles governing hiking and each space can also apply its own rules.

1/ Stay on the hiking trails

There are many reasons why you might want to get off the beaten track but remember that, by staying on it, you avoid trampling on the different varieties of plants and help to preserve the land from premature erosion.

If you are passing through private property, remember to close the fences or barriers that you have opened to prevent the herds from escaping.

 

Hiking: stay on the trails
hiking: Managing your waste

2/ Managing your waste during a hike

In order to preserve your hiking domain, everything you bring with you must stay with you!

Take ultra-light and compact bags and pouches to bring back your waste easily and cleanly. 

hiking: Keep dogs on a leash

3/ Keep dogs on a leash… and on occasion, you may even have to leave them at home to rest

In order not to risk injuring certain species or disrupting their reproduction cycles, it is recommended that dogs be kept on a leash.

Depending on how sociable your dog is, this will also be appreciated by other hikers, especially those who have left their sandwich lying close enough for your dog to pick up the scent during a break, or those who are scared of dogs.

Make enquiries beforehand because certain areas (like the National Parks or Nature Reserves) do not permit dogs, even when they are on a leash; be careful of fines!

hiking: responsible picking

4/ Picking and foraging responsibly when hiking

It is strictly prohibited to pick protected varieties. As for other varieties, it's all about being reasonable, so that the hikers who come after you can enjoy the landscapes in bloom...

Concerning mushrooms, the national forest office ("ONF") states that foraging is permitted for family consumption but strictly prohibited for commercial purposes.

Regarding fruit, only the fruit, which has fallen to the ground, may be picked up. Regarding blueberries: beware, berry pickers are no longer tolerated in some départements, so please ask the local Tourist Office for more information.

Once again, beware of fines which can go up to €750€...

5/ Do not touch or feed animals while hiking

Some animals may appear friendly or even abandoned if they are young. But if you touch them, you run the risk of altering their smell, which could lead to them being subsequently rejected by their parents.  

By feeding the wildlife, you are modifying the animals' natural behaviour, which could make them dependent or even lead them to behave aggressively towards humans. In some American parks, for example, it is not uncommon to see squirrels come and steal the backpacks of hikers.

In short, wildlife is there to be looked at so that it stays "wild".

6/ Respect other users

Mountain bikers, horse riders, hunters, hikers, etc. We all have to share the trails. Let's avoid making too much noise so that everyone can enjoy nature, and be friendly in order to have a good time outside.

7/ Check the regulations before building a fire

Innocently grilling marshmallows can turn into a real danger depending on the location and time of year... Always check the current regulations.

If possible, try to use a spot that has already been used by other hikers to avoid excessive scarring on the landscape. 

hiking: making a fire

8/ Clean your soles...

A "bonus" piece of advice which may seem surprising... But without knowing it, we can harm biodiversity by transferring seeds or bacteria from other environments on the soles of our shoes, especially after a stay abroad.

In addition to these rules for respecting the outdoor spaces, there are also personal safety recommendations for going on a hike with complete peace of mind.

Check out our Nature guide platform

You want to get out in to the heart of nature, right?

"Decathlon Outdoor" APP offers you an immersion in nature near you, on your own or with a guide. Zero-routine ideas that are accessible to all to get your fill of chlorophyll and outdoor thrills.

go trekking

All about hiking and camping

It's true that when we start hiking, we can sometimes have some apprehensions. What are your thoughts about hiking? How do you set up a campsite? What do you need to bring? What do you eat? How to hike safely What about the children, how do you keep them occupied?

This is why we created this guide on hiking and camping. Here, you will find the essentials you need to explore the paths freely, while taking care of nature.

What about you, what are your rules of the game?

margaux-quechua-signature

Margaux

Copywriter hiking tips

My Top 3 walks: Lac d'Anterne, the West Coast Trail and Vercors (but I can’t choose between them)! 

I like to set off on forgotten trails, old shepherd’s or postal trails. 

I don't like: people who throw their litter in the forest.

Check out our selection of tips

List of essential items for properly preparing your backpack - teaser

List of essential items to prepare for your backpack

With the help of its Mountain Guides partner, Quechua has drawn up a list of essential items for your backpack.
Finding your bearings when hiking: signposting on paths - title

Finding your bearings when hiking: signposting on paths

The French Hiking Association has created close to 180.000 km of signposted paths, four and a half times the Earth's circumference! Discover the different signs and find your ideal hike!
Find out about trail grading so you can find a hike to suit your level - title

Find out about trail grading so you find a hike to suit your level

Find out about trail grading so you can find a hike to suit your level! The French Hiking Federation has developed a trail grading system based on 3 different criteria: effort required, technical difficult and risk involved.