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Hiking Safety Tips

The Hudson Valley and upstate New York offer some of the best hiking trails in the country, but a beautiful day of hiking can turn into a tragedy if proper precautions are not taken when hiking. Safety is important whenever you a participating in outdoor activities. Follow these tips to stay safe on the trails this season:

  • Before You Go
    • Plan ahead. Learn about the trails you plan on hiking along.
    • Prepare yourself physically.
    • Let someone know where exactly you plan on going and what your schedule is.
    • Go with a group or at least one other person.
    • Learn how to identify common poisonous plants so you know what to avoid.
    • Know the rules and regulations of the area in which you are visiting.
    • If hiking in the Adirondacks, consult DEC’s Adirondack Trail Information webpages.
  • What to Wear
    • Wear light-colored, non-cotton long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
    • Wear appropriate hiking shoes or boots.
    • Wear a watch so you will be aware when sundown approaches.
    • Avoid wearing scents that can attract insects.
  • What to Pack
    • Bring a map of the trail, a compass and a topographic map of the area.
    • Pack warm clothing, high energy food, a pocket knife, a whistle and some sunscreen.
    • Bring matches or something that can start a fire.
    • Rain gear.
    • Water.
    • Flashlights and extra batteries.
  • On The Trail
    • Stay with your group.
    • Drink water regularly. Rest and snack occasionally.
    • Don’t drink water from ponds or creeks.
    • Avoid swimming in unfamiliar waters.
    • Sign in at any Department of Environmental Conservation trail register you may pass.
    • Don’t build fires when the risk of forest fires is high.
  • If You Get Lost or Injured
    • Keep calm, stay dry and keep warm. Stay put.
    • If you think you will need to spend the night, build a campfire for heat, light and comfort. The smoke can also help a search party find you.
    • Build shelter out of branches and leaves if the weather is bad and you need to stay the night in the woods.
    • If you feel you can try and find your way back, remember that following streams downhill will nearly always lead you back to signs of habitation.
    • Any person knowing you are overdue should contact the New York State Forest Rangers in the area of your trip.
    • If the person you are with is injured, remain with the injured person and know basic first aid techniques.

Contact us 24/7 for a free case appraisal. To learn more hiking safety tips, visit the Department of Environmental Conservation’s website.