Monday, August 15, 2022

Trail Tip: Sudden Stops are Dangerous and Inconsiderate

May 13, 2013 by  
Filed under Trail Tips

Do you have hiking buddies who stop suddenly in the trail?

A favorite hiking buddy of mine has a delightful childlike sense of wonder when outdoors –  she is a joy to hike with – EXCEPT when I’m directly behind her.  She stops suddenly to admire this or to adjust that.  Sudden stops on narrow trails, cause everyone behind to stop and wait while she photographs/admires/adjusts, etc.    Several times lately, I’ve almost plowed into her.

Sudden stops – especially on the uphill – interrupt a hiker’s rhythm which can interfere with heart rate management.  Fat-burning occurs when the heart is elevated for a sustained period of time.  Recovery occurs when you stop.  Sudden stopping on the trail allows the heart to recover which interferes with fat burning.  I hike to exercise, socialize and be outside.  Hiking up hill is HARD – especially post-chemo and it’s great (and essential for me) exercise.

I don’t mind slowing down as a way to “wait” while others stop for adjustments, photos, whatever – but I do like to keep moving – even if it’s at a slower pace.  This allows me to keep my heart rate elevated and to scout ahead quietly and maybe even see things I might not otherwise see or hear.

Solutionif you’re going to stop in the trail, do it in a place where others can pass.  Pick your spot if you can or at least call out that you’re stopping so your buddies behind you have a fair warning.

Lupine at lake (Large) Oakland Star Tulip (Large) Red Maid (Large)
Purple (Large) Larkspur (Large) Mariposa Black Diamond


One Response to “Trail Tip: Sudden Stops are Dangerous and Inconsiderate”
  1. Ellen says:

    I work in DC and experience this situation often, particularly during high tourist season, on escalators. I call it, “the baby bird.” Typically it goes like this…they emerge from the subway, take one step forward off the escalator, stop immediately, look up and around with mouth agape and say, “now which way do we go?” Meanwhile behind them is a Keystonesque pile-up of other holiday-makers and steaming commuters. I’m baffled as to why they don’t move out of the flow to regroup and orient themselves, but I’m sure there is a traffic-flow study in there somewhere.