Hiking is one of the many outdoor adventures that attracts guests to New Hampshire year after year in every season. Whether your chosen path takes you to a mountain summit or along a lake or stream you are sure to see something you won’t see everyday.
Regardless of the hike you choose, it’s your responsibility to hike safely. Be prepared. It is never a good idea to hike alone. Don’t be misguided by the expected security of your cell phone. Most often cell service is not available in the mountains. Technology is never a substitute for knowledge and experience.
Heat, cold, hydration and a fall are the greatest risks.
Bring plenty of water, wear proper hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, sunglasses, and bug repellant. As the length and difficulty of your hike increases the list of essentials also grows. Make sure you have essentials with you and you know how to use them. A map, compass, flashlight or headlamp, firestarter, whistle, first aid kit, pocket knife, extra food and water, and warm clothing to keep you warm and dry are some of the items you should have for your summer hike.
Watch your step.
Even the most experienced and prepared hikers can have an accident. Good hiking footwear should be chosen for the type of terrain you plan to explore for help with support and traction. Hiking shoes are good for hikes over well defined trails when you are not carrying much weight. When covering varied terrain with a heavier pack, hiking boots are a better choice.
Don’t wait until you are thirsty to begin drinking. Rule of thumb is to pack more water than you think you’ll need. Drinking frequently throughout your hike is more beneficial than drinking an entire bottle at once. Don’t assume that trailside sources are safe. Even a clear, cold mountain stream can be contaminated.
Keep your temperature safe.
You need to keep yourself cool on warm days by not over exerting and be able to stay warm and dry if bad weather moves in. Bring warm clothing, dry socks and rain or wind jacket and pants.
Know where you’re going.
When venturing off the well-marked trails be sure you know how to read trail markers and have a map and compass and know how to use them.
The opportunities for hikes in New Hampshire’s White Mountains are nearly endless. All offer spectacular scenery and many present amazing views. Match the hike with your ability and don’t be fooled by distance.
The 780,000+ acre White Mountain National Forest surrounds North Conway. When visiting the Stonehurst Manor (stonehurstmanor.com), stop at the front desk for information and recommendations of our favorite area hikes.
For a listing of recommended clothing and equipment visit HikeSafe.com along with lots of other valuable information.