One irritating and sometimes even dangerous thing that happens when you are hiking in the woods with newbie hikers is that they’ll get a tree branch or vine hung on their clothing as they pass and they’ll just bull straight through the obstruction, at which point the tree branch recoils and hits the next guy in line.
This can be much more than an irritant because when you are in dappled light it is very hard to see a small branch if it happens to be coming directly at your face – so you’re liable to catch it directly in an eyeball. Even if you are wearing eye protection, it can still be painful and irritating to be whipped in the face by a branch.
Here are a couple of pointers that will drastically reduce the likelihood of something like this becoming an issue.
- If you are hiking in the woods and get a branch or vine hung on your clothing, do not just blunder blithely through. Stop and back up a step or two to let the branch return to its position then untangle yourself and move on. Alternately, you can grab the branch and ease it back in place so it doesn’t whip the next guy in line.
- If you are hiking behind someone – especially a newbie who might not be aware of the above guideline – then maintain some spacing and watch out when they inevitably snag something on their pack or shoulder and send it flying your way.
And finally, when someone whips you or slings a branch your way, remember all the times you probably did the same thing to others and kindly remind them of the above points of hiking safety and etiquette.