The rules of etiquette are unspoken, they exist in many different areas: we go to a restaurant — there are some rules, to the theater — others. Exactly the same rules exist in outdoor recreation. Each sport has its own specifics, but there is a small list of general rules that apply to any activity.
There are no punishments for breaking these rules unless you take the environmental field, they are more of an advisory nature, but breaking them leaves an unpleasant other people's impression of you, so following these rules are very desirable.
In this post, the second in a continuation of our new column “The basics of outdoor activities,” we will deal with what is outdoor etiquette in general and give its examples in individual sports.
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So, in the etiquette of outdoor activities, there are several general rules, which, however, quite strongly overlap with each other. But we have tried to highlight the main ones:
Take care of nature. This is the most important rule of outdoor etiquette. Following this rule is simple enough — imagine that you came to visit someone, to visit nature. Enjoy it, take its gifts, but do not harm it, and do not leave garbage on the visit.
To this rule we can also relate such rules as: don't trample or break plants, especially those belonging to rare species and moreover included in the Red Book; observe animals from a sufficient distance and don’t feed them, and keep your animals on a leash; make a fire only according to the rules and in authorized places — usually these are campsites, and so on. This list is easy to continue. Just imagine something (bad) that you wouldn't do in your home or something (good) that you would like to do for yourself. The same is in nature while doing outdoor activities.
The latter is especially important: on par with garbage, bonfires are one of the main dangers to nature from humans. Fires start very easily and spread over long distances. To avoid a possible fire for sure, use a gas burner.
Be quiet. If you want to listen to music — no problem, just use headphones, because not everyone has the same taste in music as you do. But in general, people go to nature to listen to its sounds: the sound of the sea, forest, and animals, but not the System of a Down. If you want to hold a group meeting in nature after a hike or a busy day at the surf camp, choose a place away from the others or let them know about your plans in advance. However, if you get lost and try to get out of the wilderness, calling loudly for help is allowed and should even be done, as well as in any out-of-the-ordinary situation.
Respect others. Remember — even if you are alone in the wilderness, someone will come into it after you just as you came after someone. Everyone wants to come to a beautiful and clean place without litter.
Despite the fact that outdoor recreation, in general, is a friendly community, you should also not invade another group's site without an invitation, such as joining a campfire or some cyclists. When choosing a camping spot or a beach, if possible, try not to be close to anyone, and make sure there is enough room around: sometimes it is better to search a little longer for a place to stop than to choose the first one to the others. While hiking on the trail and other activities, also respect other people’s personal space.
Keep an eye on your kids. No one should mind that children will play and have fun in nature — it’s their normal behavior. However, make sure they don’t overdo it and limit the small area for them to play in the campground. If kids wake up too early, warn your camping neighbors about it, because someone likes to sleep longer.
Help. It can be anything from setting up a kite for a beginner to helping someone in an emergency situation where there is a risk to health and life.
Pablo Vallejo / Unsplash
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Now a few special rules of outdoor etiquette for some sports, which in turn overlap with the general ones, but they have their own peculiarities:
Skiing and snowboarding
Read the Windy.app Outdoor Encyclopedia to learn more about these and other sports.
Text: Masha Shapovalova, a web specialist and author. Her favorite sports are kitesurfing and alpine skiing. Ivan Kuznetsov contributes to this article
Cover photo: Julien Rougeron / Unsplash
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