The hiker is hiking near the lake

Hiking Trail Etiquette for Smokers

Hiking is a great way for smokers and non-smokers alike to get a dose of physical activity and enjoy the endorphin-boosting qualities of a hard-earned picturesque view. It’s no wonder, then, that hiking and backpacking have quietly climbed their way to the top of America’s most beloved outdoor activities – garnering 58.7 million and 10.3 million participants, respectively – according to a report by the Outdoor Foundation. However, if you plan to light up on the trail, it’s essential to be mindful of others to avoid disrupting their experience; after all, people hike to enjoy fresh air. Here are a few pointers for your next hike so you can remain considerate without compromising nicotine consumption.


Hiking Trail Etiquette for Smokers

Use smokeless alternatives

Some people may argue against smoking on hikes at all, asserting that the activity can put a damper on your respiratory system – which needs to be in good condition for a rigorous endeavor like hiking. Still, quitting cold turkey for a hike may pose a few safety risks when potentially debilitating withdrawal symptoms, like headaches or severe nausea, are factored in.

In this case, packing smoke-free options will ensure an unobtrusive nicotine experience that is better suited to hikes. Nicotine pouches are leading in the market as smokeless alternatives these days. This site covers how top brands like ZYN, VELO, Rogue, and On! offer products that are easy to use while on the trail. Simply open up your can and take out a pouch, place the pouch under your lip, and enjoy the release of nicotine and exciting flavors for up to 60 minutes. Unlike with a cigarette break, you don’t have to stop to light up or go out of your way to locate a smoking area. With quick delivery on various nicotine pouch variants, you can ensure you always have cans on hand for your next outdoor adventure.

Nicotine lozenges are another alternative, as they are equally discreet and come in different flavors. Perrigo’s Nicotine Coated Mint Lozenges come in two-milligram and four-milligram variants. This product is made to help reduce withdrawal symptoms for hikers who are reducing their nicotine intake or going on a smoking cessation journey. Nicotine lozenges also melt in your mouth, which means you don’t have to worry about your breath – or making a negative impact on the environment.

Observe proper disposal

Cigarettes are assumed to be biodegradable, but the fibers in their filters are made of cellulose acetate, which can take up to 18 months to break down. This article also alarmingly notes that only 15% of wildfires occur on their own, as the remaining 85% are a direct result of human causes such as unattended fires and discarded cigarettes. Nicotine ingestion from littered cigarette butts can also poison fish and harm wildlife. This is why, if you absolutely must smoke cigarettes on the trail, you must observe the “Leave No Trace” principle we discussed in a previous article, where we detail the importance of leaving a trail exactly as you found it. Not only should you properly put out a cigarette, ensuring no remaining embers can cause danger, but you should also carry used butts with you until you reach the appropriate disposal receptacles.

Before going on your trip, double-check if any regulations on the trail or national park you plan to visit prohibit cigarettes and vapes, where your smoke-free and heat-free alternatives will come in handy. Finally, to show respect and politeness to your fellow hikers, another great rule of thumb is to ask those around you before lighting up. This helps them feel comfortable and ensures you can enjoy your smoke break with peace of mind against the backdrop of the great outdoors.

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