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Thread: Is greeting other folks on trail with "Hi!" part of hiking etiquette?

  1. #16
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteMTHike View Post
    I say hello on the trails more than I do in the hallway at work. Being on the trails brings out the best in people.
    Agreed. Spread the love. What have you got to lose?

    cb
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  2. #17
    Senior Member Hillwalker's Avatar
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    Over the years I hiked the 98 mile long West Highland Way in Scotland. The first time in the conventional way, South to North and greetings were pretty rare as almost everyone was heading the the same direction. The next time I hiked it was North to South and it got to be a real PITA to keep saying "good morning" about a hundred times a day. Recently hiking on the 840 km Spanish Pyrenees trail GR11 I daily met so few people on the trail that there was a real thirst for conversation which seemed to be shared by everyone I met. Problem was with the various languages of all the other hikers.

  3. #18
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iAmKrzys View Post
    Perhaps that would be one more good reason to go and do some hiking in the Alps - a friend suggested that we do Tour du Mont Blanc ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tour_du_Mont_Blanc ) but given that it's 110 miles in distance and I am a slow hiker it seems like I would need more than a week to complete it. I could then try to verify if French and Italian hikers are as friendly as the Swiss!
    I'm headed there in 3 days for the Hikers Haute Route and will report back our findings.
    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

  4. #19
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Part of the joy of being outdoors are meeting other people who enjoy the same. The only people who don't respond back to a friendly greeting usually strike me as folks who are new to hiking and haven't yet found their comfort zone yet.

    This weekend, we struck up a conversation with a young woman at Galehead hut, and as a result, we ended up giving her a lift back to her car so she didn't have to go back up and over the Twins. There's a nice culture in the outdoors of helping each other out.

  5. #20
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Metsky View Post
    I'm headed there in 3 days for the Hikers Haute Route and will report back our findings.
    Have a great time. Did the traverse on skis 20 years ago and it was magnificent!
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  6. #21
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    Argh.

    Just for a counterpoint: I do not hike to meet people. I do not like saying "Hi!" dozen's of times. I have no interest in striking up a conversation with anybody. I will, however, be polite respond to greetings. I also help others when needed, answer pertinent questions, etc., etc..

    I like to hike solo - just me and the mountain - regardless of how many other people are on the trail...

    I do not pass judgement on others, and I prefer to not be judged (but this is 'Merica, so WhatChaGonnaDo?).

    So there. Take that, all you friendly meet and greet people. Shoo.

    Other sins of mine include using a GPS on every hike (gasp!) and listening to music via ear buds (oh yes, I go there). Oh, and hiking solo at night. I think that makes me the most evil hiker on the trail ever (imagine evil laugh here).

    Can't a guy just go for a nice, quiet hike?

  7. #22
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
    Argh.

    Just for a counterpoint: I do not hike to meet people. I do not like saying "Hi!" dozen's of times. I have no interest in striking up a conversation with anybody. I will, however, be polite respond to greetings. I also help others when needed, answer pertinent questions, etc., etc..

    I like to hike solo - just me and the mountain - regardless of how many other people are on the trail...

    I do not pass judgement on others, and I prefer to not be judged (but this is 'Merica, so WhatChaGonnaDo?).

    So there. Take that, all you friendly meet and greet people. Shoo.

    Other sins of mine include using a GPS on every hike (gasp!) and listening to music via ear buds (oh yes, I go there). Oh, and hiking solo at night. I think that makes me the most evil hiker on the trail ever (imagine evil laugh here).

    Can't a guy just go for a nice, quiet hike?
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    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  8. #23
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Metsky View Post
    I'm headed there in 3 days for the Hikers Haute Route and will report back our findings.
    I hope your report goes well beyond greeting customs! Have a great trip!

  9. #24
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
    I will, however, be polite respond to greetings. I also help others when needed, answer pertinent questions, etc., etc..
    That's still a level above the silent treatment.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    You need a good avatar. Click image for larger version. 

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    Yup. That is me.
    Love it.

  11. #26
    Senior Member Salty's Avatar
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    Geez, I feel more extroverted that I thought. I have almost always said a quick hello to passing hikers, it just seems rude to pretend they're not there. To me, it's pretty obvious if they want to keep moving (i.e., they keep moving ) or talk a bit. Matters not to me, but if you totally ignore my hello, I do see that as rude.

    Notable exception is on the way out of the Lincoln Woods Trail, which is usually late in the afternoon, so it's clearly just the throngs heading to the falls (no backpacks, no water, so late in the afternoon I wonder how they heck they're getting out before dark, etc.). I generally notice a different tone on the few occasions I have tried to be congenial, like I'm a man from Mars saying Ack! Ack ack!

    Guess I'll be good in Europe, I've been drooling over Triglav in Slovenia lately.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salty View Post

    Notable exception is on the way out of the Lincoln Woods Trail, which is usually late in the afternoon, so it's clearly just the throngs heading to the falls (no backpacks, no water, so late in the afternoon I wonder how they heck they're getting out before dark, etc.). I generally notice a different tone on the few occasions I have tried to be congenial, like I'm a man from Mars saying Ack! Ack ack!
    Zealand Trail suffers the same phenomenon. "Rudest" trail in the Whites. LW is in close competition, though.

  13. #28
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    If I'm hiking along watching where I place my feet and someone coming the other way is doing the same thing and the trail is wide enough for us to pass, then I probably won't say anything. If the trail is narrow and one of us (or both of us) stops to let the other pass, then I'll usually say something. If I get a response, and I haven't seen many people on the hike, then I may have a short conversation.

  14. #29
    Senior Member Brambor's Avatar
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    I always say hi when on the trail. My son remarked on me saying that I am the most social antisocial :-) I happily say hi yet afterwards I'm seldom interested in detailed conversation :-)
    Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salty View Post
    Geez, I feel more extroverted that I thought. I have almost always said a quick hello to passing hikers, it just seems rude to pretend they're not there. To me, it's pretty obvious if they want to keep moving (i.e., they keep moving ) or talk a bit. Matters not to me, but if you totally ignore my hello, I do see that as rude.
    Not pretending you are not there. Not being rude. Look up introverted, and try to understand that constant greetings can be a real problem. Some people just want to enjoy the hike, the trees, the air, the rocks, the gray-jays....

    I reply to greetings (usually with a grunt after a few hours into the hike), lest I be branded as a bad person. More than once I have considered printing a placard that I can point to that says "Hi!" just so I can go about my hike in peace. I'm definitely in the minority here, but not alone.

    As an introvert, I can not understand why I need to constantly exchange greetings with other hikers (unless there is a problem) - but that is OK. I work as well as I can within the expected social norms. People are different, and that is OK.

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