Safety Tips for Rockland Hikers

Safety Tips for Rockland Hikers

By M. C. Millman

With yet another report last week from Spring Hill Community Ambulance Corp of the rescue of an injured hiker at Reeves Meadow Park on Seven Lakes Drive in Sloatsburg, following fast on the heels of a regular pattern of missing hikers requiring Chaverim of Rockland's Search and Rescue, Rockland Daily is sharing the following safety tips.

Keep in mind that it gets darker in the woods an hour earlier than in town due to the setting sun being blocked by mountains and trees.

Always tell someone back home where you plan on going: the area, the trail, the intended route, how long you plan on staying, and which entrance you plan on utilizing.

Don’t take shortcuts even if you think the area looks familiar going back down. Trails often make twists and turns so that one might not realize that one has just crossed over a mountain. Bushwhacking often only leads to completely different areas, leaving one hopelessly lost.

If lost:

Stay on the trail even if it gets dark. Otherwise, this makes the search and rescue much more difficult.

Know that no matter the emergency, help is always a minimum of one hour away.

If you hit a road, any road, dirt or paved, or any open area, stay on it, as you will be more likely to be found on a road than in the woods.

If you can get a call through, be prepared to tell rescue teams where you are or at least as much information as you can, such as the name of the trail you were on and how many hours in you are.

Suggestions and Supplies for Camps/Schools/Groups

Bring along basic first-aid kits.

Bring flashlights for afternoon/long hikes.

Bring along enough responsible manpower so that there will be those who can accompany an injured person or those who can stay back at different points with worn-out hikers who can’t push themselves to the same limits as others in the group.

Bring charged cell phones, but don’t rely on them as cell phones do not work in all areas.

Even if there is no cell service for calls, try sending a text instead.

Plan the route before the trip. Chaverim offers camps the ability to call their office ahead of the hike and ask to speak to an expert hiker to discuss the route through the area the group wants to visit.

Let a responsible party know ahead of time that the group is going on a hike and where they will be.

Bring a list of medications, allergies, and medical history for all hikers.

Most of all, enjoy the hike while staying safe at the same time. 

Photo: Flickr

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