Plan to hike and get high? Here’s some wisdom from the trail

Enjoying the great outdoors with cannabis comes with cautions, tips and etiquette. Grassi Lakes, near Canmore, AB. (Black Press Media Files.)

As we near the end of summer, there are only so many more opportunities to get out and enjoy the wonders of nature before the weather turns cold. Whether it’s hiking, camping, finding a waterfall or hot springs, now’s a perfect time to enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer, with the perfect companion: cannabis.

There are some amazing hikes and trails around Alberta and B.C. that offer beautiful views and are good for all ranges of fitness and nature enthusiasts. Hiking in Alberta is a unique and rewarding experience, from vast mountain ranges to emerald green lakes that almost seem like they come from a fairy tale.

From Grassi Lakes in Canmore to Lake Agnes Trail in Lake Louise, and Johnston Canyon in Banff, the opportunities for hiking and cannabis go hand-in-hand. B.C. also has its share of beautiful hikes and trails, especially Emerald Lake Trail as well as places near the Kootenays and interior.

Wondering how to enjoy cannabis while also being in nature and on the trails? Cannabis enthusiasts and users will note how it can enhance their experience to take in the beauty of nature while also being safe and responsible.

Before heading on their adventures, people should be equipped with the knowledge they need to be both considerate and safe.

Paramount to having a good experience, being cognizant of your surroundings ensures safety for all those involved. By showing respect to fellow hikers, this piece of etiquette goes a long way. Much like smoking, not everyone likes the smell of cannabis, and trails and nature are meant for everyone.

While on a trail, the golden rule for all hikers is to leave no trace. Pack in, pack out. With regards to cannabis, the sentiment remains. No one wants to see butts from a joint much like cigarette butts.

It’s important to read up on the area and being conscientious of fire use, especially as trails can now be dry and pose extra danger to wildfire. Throwing out a cannabis butt has devastating potential effect. And if camping overnight and enjoying cannabis, it’s important to monitor the use of campfire.

With the joy and feelings of consuming cannabis, it can have an effect on your body. Be sure to have lots of water on hand, and always pack more than needed, just to be safe, as cannabis dehydrates people.

Planning and knowing the route is also important. Chances are most trails are well-marked, or an out and back with signs and arrows along the trail. Others may not be, and if consuming cannabis, a person’s mental state can become muddled.

Having a map handy, or an app like AllTrails, where you can download a route and follow your GPS, ensures safety on the trail. Tell others where and when you’re going so they are aware in case of an emergency.

Cannabis and nature go hand-in-hand and bring a sense of connectedness to the landscapes. To help you get that high off life, head down to your favourite cannabis store and talk to someone about safe and responsible use for when you make your way out to nature.

Sheldon Smith is a Calgary-based cannabis writer.