I was running at Maryland Heights and it was a beautiful day and was in one of those amazing chipper and happy to be on the trail moods, that I started to say “Good Morning” to everyone I saw. Lots of people smiled back and returned the greeting, a few gave the head nod (which I’ve totally done when I’m unable to form words at the time, thank you hills) and a surprising amount just stared at me like I insulted their mother or flat out ignored me.
Granted, I admit that I sometimes dress a bit um….bright when I’m on trail.
On this particular day I had on: a black long sleeve with thumbholes, grey running knickers, bright pink XOSkin socks, a Sparkle Athletic skirt with unicorns and rainbows (because the grey running knickers can make it look like one has pissed oneself thanks to the magic of light grey material, and I rounded it out with a hat and a buff and gaiters. I’m not exactly fear inspiring. I’m 5’4 and I’m petite enough that I can and do still shop in the kids department of Target (Cat and Jack FTW). The disgusted looks got me thinking and the rest of the run (15 miles and 3500 feet of gain) I pondered this:
Coffee Run Repeat’s guide to how not to be a trail douche.
- You don’t have to talk to people on trail, but you can acknowledge their existence.
This includes a smile, a half smile, a partial wave (one finger raised off your hiking stick totally counts), a head nod, “good morning”, “hi”, or in the rare instance “oh shit that’s a bear.”
- You don’t have to talk to people TOO much though.
I came across a couple of guys in gun club shirts and one said to me “You’re dressed pretty bright, what are you afraid of people shooting out here?” His tone and the fact that he had guns ON his shirt kind of threw me off and I just replied “I don’t know, I just like it” and then I proceeded to increase my pace.
- Share the trail
If you are a slow hiker or hiking in a group of 32 of your closest friends, please don’t make me beg to pass you. I make sure to move over for faster runners, all I need is a couple of inches, stop trying to block me, this isn’t the NFL.
- Don’t litter
Why is it always Kombucha bottles that I see in the woods?
- Don’t light random fires
I’m always finding evidence of people having fires ON the trail or places where camping is not allowed like on Bear’s Den (not the campsite for Bear’s Den, the ACTUAL rocks).
- Don’t wear Axe body spray in the woods bro.