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