by Gideon Lasco
1. Quieter environs, clearer trails. If you’re one of those who get annoyed by hikers playing loud music – or running into trail traffic and hikers not willing to give way – a weekday hike is your best bet. As an added bonus, you also get to do away with vendors selling buko juice or ad-hoc “7-11s” in certain mountains. For many hikers, these are unwanted distractions from the beauty and peace that nature brings.
2. Better photo ops. Want a perfect summit shot without photobombers, and without the pressure of people waiting for their turn? Hike on weekdays. Indeed, most of the beautiful photos in Instagram feed of popular dayhike destinations were taken during weekdays.
3. More slices of life. When you hike on weekdays, you see children going to school, farmers going to their fields, rural folk heading to the city – basically, people going about their daily lives. You may also find the guides and locals more relaxed as there are less visitors to cater to and worry about.
4. More wildlife. Yes! It’s amazing how much wildlife there is during weekdays compared to the weekends – and this is great for nature lovers. I was surprised, for instance, to see many birds in Manabu Peak when we were hiking on a Thursday.
5. Less environmental impact. The sheer volume of hikers can affect the trails and their “durable surfaces” – this is the reason why some trails get perpetually muddy – or become wider and wider, encroaching on the surrounding flora. Hiking on weekdays allows the soil to recover and is much less impactful to the mountain.
6. It’s good for weekenders too! Remember, if you’re hiking on weekends, you’re also part of the weekend crowd even as you wish there would be fewer people. By climbing on weekdays, you encourage others to do so as well, and together, you help reduce the burden on the mountains during weekends. By distributing your presence throughout the days of the week, you’re truly beating the crowd and spreading the impact.