Cannabis is a natural companion for explorers of the great outdoors. Before starting your journey, equip yourself with the knowledge to stay safe and considerate with cannabis use in nature.
Safety and Etiquette for Outdoor Cannabis Consumption
Safety is paramount to having a good experience, and etiquette is paramount to others having a good experience, so be sure to practice both when you hit the trail.
- Be respectful of other hikers. “Just like cigarettes, not everyone likes it, and everyone should be able to enjoy the trail.” This is especially important around crowds and children.
- Leave no trace. This is the golden rule for all hikers—no one is an exception. When it comes to enjoying cannabis on the trail, it may seem like no big deal to toss an extinguished roach. (“It’s okay, the crutch is hemp paper!”) No! No one wants to see cannabis or cigarette butts on the trailside, and even if it seems too small to make any big impact, get in the habit of packing out all trash no matter how small.
- Be conscientious of your use of heat and fire. This is particularly true in dry areas and seasons. Tossing a roach that you assumed was extinguished could have devastating effects in a dry ecosystem, causing a fire or at least ruining pristine hiking areas. Be smart with your campfires (in other words, don’t be a stoned idiot) and adhere to the conditional fire laws in your area.
- Bring extra water. Always bring more water than you think you’ll require. Cannabis causes dehydration. It’s also wise to carry an extra water filter because stuff happens.
- Know your route. Some trails are obvious and easy to locate. Other are not. Getting lost can happen to anyone and being high while trying to navigate makes it more challenging if you’re not an accustomed user. It sounds dorky, but bringing a topographical map or GPS system can save your ass. Also pay close attention to natural landmarks and track your mileage.
Best Cannabis Pieces to Bring Hiking and Camping
What’s your favorite piece to bring while hiking? Leafly.com asked local hikers about their preferences and here’s what was learned:
Joints. The top method for smoking weed in the outdoors is the classic joint. Roll several before hitting the trail. Throw a spliff in the mix for that little kick of energy.
- Upside: joints stay lit in windy weather, easy to share with friends, lightweight and packs a big punch.
- Downsides: they’re difficult to light in the wind, you have to pack out roaches (bring an extra baggie, otherwise they make your backpack smell bad), they require a lot of bud, and a strong breeze makes them burn quicker.
Portable Vaporizers. A lot of hikers love portable vaporizers and oil pens for use on the trail. Some allow you to fill them with your preferred flower while many oil pens offer strain-specific cartridges so you can bring your favorite variety of cannabis with you on the trail.
- Upside: no lighter is required, they are discreet with minimal odor, and they allow you to take as few puffs as you’d like at a time.
- Downsides: oil cartridges provide a fairly different high from flowers that some do not prefer, plus their batteries can run out and leave you cannabis-less.
Pipes. The tried and true method of consumption favored by many hikers. One Washington hiker stated, “On busier trails I prefer to use a pipe. They’re easier to put out when other people are passing by.” Almost all the hikers who were surveyed cited pipes and one-hitters as their preferred pieces; there’s something to be said about this classic companion.
- Upside: pipes are lightweight, they’re easy to put out, and they’re easy to share.
- Downsides: they can break, difficult to light with a breeze and it’s hard to smoke them while walking.
Travel Water Pipes. Bongs and bubblers, although very cumbersome to handle for an outdoor trip, are still possibile options. You don’t need to pack your most extravagant glass piece to enjoy the luxury of a water pipe. Small bubblers are easy enough to bring and lightweight bongs are also available.
- Upside: water pipes provide extra cooling and filtration of smoke, and bongs can provide heavier effects than a pipe.
- Downsides: they’re heavy, take up precious space and they aren’t discreet.
Edibles and Tinctures. Although considered too heavy for many hikers, edibles can bring an enjoyable smoke-free way to enjoy your time outdoors. Small doses are your best bet for a long-lasting, mellow and gentle high that still allows you to be active. Tinctures have a faster onset, and less intensity than edibles, because of how they’re metabolized.
- Upside: edibles last longer than inhaled methods, they provide a good body high for relaxing muscles, and they’re small and lightweight. Sublingual tinctures are easier to dose than edibles and tend to offer more mild effects.
- Downsides: edibles can cause an overly intense high with sedating effects. Dose responsibly!
Legal Considerations of Enjoying Cannabis Outdoors
Marijuana policy and tolerances vary depending on the area you’re visiting. Federal lands like national parks will cite you for using marijuana, and technically you can still face fines for public consumption outside of national parks—even in legal states. Research relevant laws if you’re concerned.
As you see hikers cracking a well-deserved beer at a mountain peak despite consumption laws, you can expect to see others lighting up an equally well-deserved joint. So to wrap this point up, educate yourself about the laws and be respectful of those around you.
If people can enjoy cigarettes out in nature, why not cannabis? It enables individuals who suffer with pain, chronic nausea, and other ailments to enjoy a happy and active lifestyle. One hiker mentioned that cannabis allowed him to hike without his heavy painkiller prescription, enabling him to stay pain-free and active as opposed to sedated and lethargic. Another hiker noted, “Cannabis helps quiet my mind so I can really enjoy the nature and its serenity.” A third said it allowed her to focus on the persistence in climbing, turning off the “I can’t do this” internal thinking.
How does cannabis help you enjoy the great outdoors, and what tips and tricks do you have to offer your fellow hikers, backpackers, and campers? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
Republished with permission. Read the original on Leafly.com