The great outdoors is known for stimulating all of our senses, from the sounds of wildlife to the sights of mountains and the smells of the forest. For many, the great outdoors have proved refuge for their cannabis consumption as housing and businesses are often unfriendly to the idea of lighting up nearby. When I was in college, we’d quickly roll a joint or a blunt and then hike down to the nearby creek to avoid detection as we puffed our way through many an evening. Staying out of sight and out of smell are the keys to avoiding unwanted attention and discretely smoking weed while hiking. Plus, being a courteous cannabis consumer only reinforces the notion that you can consume cannabis responsibly in the outdoors without forcing your lifestyle upon others.
How To Discretely Smoke Weed While Hiking
- Get off the path. If you’re standing in the middle of the trail smoking a fat one or ripping a bong, there’s nothing about your situation that is discrete. As you would when using the restroom, make sure to venture off a significant distance (75-100 yards is a good start) to avoid skunk smells wafting into the noses of passersby. If you can, find a hill, rock formation, or otherwise secluded area out of sight from the main trails and paths.
- Stay downwind of the trail as much as possible. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that smells travel, especially if there’s a breeze. If you’re upwind from the trail, all of your efforts to step off of the path and seclude yourself may be for naught as the pesky wind blows smoke, vapor and skunky smells towards other hikers. Staying downwind ensures that any smells that might exist are gently dispersed away from crowds.
- Use a noncombustible option that doesn’t put smoke into the air. We can go back and forth all day discussing whether smoking or vaping is healthier, but, when it comes to the great outdoors, fire is a real danger, and a cannabis option that doesn’t involve ashes or a flame can often be a safer choice for forest preservation and environmental protection. Not to say you can’t be safe with a joint or a blunt, but if you aren’t prepared for hot ashes and packing out your roaches, then a vape might be a better option.Similarly, vapes, by definition, produce a vapor rather than a smoke, which dissipates quicker making them a more discrete, less pungent option.
- Edibles and infused beverages are your friend. If you can’t get off the trail, can’t be seen smoking or vaping, or simply don’t want to inhale your cannabis, then edibles and beverages infused with cannabis are a great option for discrete cannabis use while hiking. There’s no fire risk, there’s no smoke or vapor to be smelled or seen, and you can serve yourself gradually, ensuring that you don’t get too high on your hike and get yourself in trouble. Plus, if you take the edibles or drinks out of their packaging and throw them in a ziplock or regular water bladder, no one will ever be the wiser when it comes to whether you’re hiking high or hiking higher.
- Pick up wrappers and roaches. This should go without saying, but if you’re leaving waste behind after smoking weed, then you aren’t being discrete. Not only that, but you’re affecting the environment and beauty that you enjoyed, tarnishing it for future visitors. Wrappers are trash; roaches from blunts and joints are litter at best and can cause a fire at worst. Do your part and pack in what you packed out. This follows the Leave No Trace principles that all outdoor adventurer’s should heed.
Cannabis has long been consumed in the outdoors in spite of it being illegal. Even today, in states that have legalized weed, public consumption of cannabis remains a crime (albeit a ticket-able one at that), and cannabis is still prohibited in national parks. Knowing how to smoke weed discretely while hiking can save you the stress of an unforeseen encounter with law enforcement, as well as maintain your courtesy to those around you that may not want to be surrounded by your activities.
Be smart and rely on these five tips for a safer, more enjoyable smoking experience on your next hike.