New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today encouraged the public planning to visit the Adirondack High Peaks region to properly plan and prepare for hikes. During the upcoming holiday weekends, DEC Forest Rangers will continue their Preventative Search and Rescue (PSAR) initiative to reduce the number of incidents in the Adirondack High Peaks region and help ensure the public has an enjoyable and safe outdoor experience.
Commissioner Seggos said, “New York’s magnificent Adirondack High Peaks offer world-class hiking opportunities for outdoor adventurers of all ages and abilities. I encourage everyone to enjoy these majestic mountains, but to do so safely and responsibly. Planning and preparation can go a long way toward ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience that is protective of our state’s natural resources.”
As part of DEC’s multi-year, comprehensive effort to promote sustainable tourism and address public safety in the Adirondack region, DEC Forest Rangers and Assistant Forest Rangers will promote proper planning and preparation through direct conversations with hikers at trailheads and other locations during the Victoria Day and Memorial Day holiday weekends.
Hikers who properly prepare and plan before going out on the trails are less likely to get lost or injured. Hikers who are knowledgeable about proper backcountry practices have significantly less impact on the natural resources, infrastructure, and other users. The Rangers’ effort will increase face-to-face interactions with hikers-the most effective means of educating visitors to the backcountry.
“Plan Ahead and Prepare” is the first of the Leave No Trace Seven Principles and the main theme of Hike Safe’s Hiker Responsibility Code. DEC reminds hikers to plan ahead and be prepared for the elements:
Know your skill level and physical capabilities – choose trails within your or your group’s ability;
Inform someone of your travel plans and let them know where you are going, your planned route, when you plan to return, and emergency numbers to call if you do not return at the scheduled time;
Wear base layers of moisture-wicking fabric to keep your skin dry;
Bring plenty of food and water. Eat, drink, and rest often to prevent exhaustion;
Pack a first aid kit, extra clothing, a fire starter kit, headlamp with extra batteries, and a trail map; and
Keep an eye on the weather, and if conditions worsen, head back immediately.