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Principle 7: Be Considerate of Other People

Vail is visited by guests from all over the world, and everyone is looking for the best experience as they venture out into the wilderness to enjoy the incredible offerings.  One of the most important components of outdoor ethics is to maintain courtesy toward other visitors. It helps everyone enjoy their outdoor experience. Many people come to the outdoors to listen to nature. Excessive noise, uncontrolled pets and damaged surroundings take away from the natural appeal of the outdoors.  Be sure to thoroughly consider how your experience is affecting the way someone else enjoys the outdoors.

Who has the right of way on a trail?  The general assumption on a narrow trail is that hikers headed downhill will step aside to allow an uphill foot traveler to easily pass. In many places, there’s an expectation that hikers will yield to equestrians, and that bicyclist will yield to both hikers and equestrians on trails. Stay in control when mountain biking. Before passing others, politely announce your presence and proceed with caution.

Bright clothing and equipment that can be seen for long distances are discouraged. Especially in open natural areas, colors such as day-glow yellow may contribute to a crowded feeling; consider earth-toned colors (i.e. browns and greens) to lessen visual impacts.

Tips For Being Considerate to Others:

  • Consider vacationing or just hitting the trails during the week (vs. weekend) and/or off-season (vs. holiday).
  • Consider venturing out during off-peak times of the day – EARLY morning or later in the afternoon/evening.
  • Consider less popular trails, be willing to explore where others will not be!
  • Try to keep your group size small and if it is larger, break into smaller groups.
  • Keep noise to a minimum while on the trail.
  • Maintain control of your pet, keeping a leash on your pet if required. Be aware that some areas may prohibit dogs all together.
  • Do not listen to music “in the open” where others can hear it and wildlife can be disturbed. And, when using earbuds, make sure you can still hear someone behind you who wants to pass.
  • Try to keep use of technology and devices to a minimum, especially around others.
  • Travelers coming UP always have the right-of-way. Bikers should yield to all hikers and stay in control before passing others, announcing yourself.
  • When camping in the backcountry, select a site where rocks or trees will screen it from others and keep noise down in camp so as not to disturb other campers or travelers.

© 1999 by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: