My planning for the Long Trail has gone great and I think I am as ready as I can get, but something continues to plague my mind: Assholes on the Trail!
Recently I have stumbled on a few articles that really highlight issues that hikers face on the trail:
Most of the long distance hiking I have done over the past few years has been on trails that see little use. On the Finger Lakes Trail in 2011 I only met 13 hikers in 570 miles of hiking. I didn’t see another person for the first 5 days of the Trans ADK last summer. I have become accustomed to not seeing people for days on end and the thought of sharing shelters and the trail with inconsiderate hikers: Sucks.
I know your surprised by the thought that there might some real jerks out there. Even though most of us are out there enjoying what the great outdoors has to offer, there is always a person(s) that can spoil a great time by acting in a way that is offensive and inconsiderate.
Here is a short list of Asshole moves and ways you can avoid being one!
- Talking on your phone in a shelter or on the top of the Mountain. Nobody wants to hear or gives a shit about your conversation. If you are so damn needy that you must talk to someone at home then do the right thing and stay home. If you absolutely must talk to someone, please go out of my earshot. I’m out in the woods for solitude and peacefulness.
- Writing your name in shelter with a marker. Perhaps one of the biggest douche-bag moves out there. Nobody cares that you were at that shelter. In fact, most of us don’t want you there in the first place so please stay home.
- Leaving Trash! Really? You packed in more weight than you will be carrying out, so please take your trash with you. Please look at number 4 below.
- Don’t Burn your Trash. I have nothing more to say here. Major asshole move. Aluminum doesn’t burn!
- Smoke your Weed Elsewhere! If you need to Smoke that bowl, please as first. Not everybody want to smell your sticky bud in the shelter. Most people won’t mind, but please be considerate and offer a toke to the guy next you as a gesture of saying yes to bud in the shelter.
- Beer :) I like a cold beer just like you. But do you really need to slam two cases down inside of the shelter? Pitch a tent and have your party where I can’t hear or see you. Oh, and at least offer me a beer. Please crush the cans and take them home with you as souvenirs from your big adventure!!!
- Shove that Cigarette where the sun don’t shine! No one wants to smell your cigarette or cigar. Your habit and death wish is yours and yours alone. Please don’t subject me to the cancer causing agents that are found in secondhand smoke.
- Bad Weather!!! Okay, so the weather is really bad and you and your two buddies take over the shelter thinking it is all yours. Don’t be Dicks! Make room for others and invite them to stay in the shelter to get out of the elements.
If you are an inconsiderate, self entitled asshole out on the trail, just remember that Karma can be a real BITCH. The more people you offend, the less likely they are going to help you out when you really need help.
I know that this is just a short list, so feel free to tell me about your experiences!