Spring in New Hampshire is an exciting time to enjoy the outdoors as wildlife emerges, trees bud, and birds return. Being engaged and connected with the outdoors is important for people’s physical and mental health, and as we begin to get back on the trails, outdoor enthusiasts must be aware that recreation this spring requires personal awareness and preparation. With snow and ice remaining at higher elevations, dramatic fluctuations in temperature, and unpredictable weather conditions, adventure at this time of the year also requires heightened responsibility.
“People must be aware of their physical limitations, the weather forecast, and know when to turn back,” said Fish and Game Law Enforcement Chief Colonel Kevin Jordan. “With winter-like conditions still present at higher elevations, microspikes in addition to warm, waterproof layers should be included in every hiker’s pack to be prepared for ever-changing spring weather,” concluded Jordan.
Colonel Jordan also strongly recommends that hikers always be prepared and carry with them, regardless of season, the top 10 essentials for changeable weather and unanticipated emergencies:
- Warm Clothing:
- Sweater or Fleece Jacket
- Long Pants (wool or synthetic)
- Hat (wool)
- Extra Food and Water
- Flashlight or Headlamp
- First Aid Kit/Repair Kit
- Rain/Wind Jacket and Pants
- Pocket Knife
Read more about safe hiking at www.wildnh.com/outdoor-recreation/hiking-safety.html.
Outdoor enthusiasts are also encouraged to purchase their voluntary annual Hike Safe card for 2023. Card sales help defray the costs of training and rescue equipment for NH Fish and Game Law Enforcement Conservation Officers, preparing them to come to your aid if the unexpected happens.
The 2023 Hike Safe card costs $25 for an individual, or $35 for a family, and are good for the calendar year ending December 31. The price is the same for both residents and non-residents. Cards can be purchased online at www.wildnh.com/safe and at New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Headquarters, 11 Hazen Drive, in Concord.
Purchasing a hunting or fishing license also provides you with the same protection as a Hike Safe card. In addition to Hike Safe card revenues, Fish and Game’s Search and Rescue Fund is supported by a $1 fee collected for each boat, snowmobile, and OHRV registered in New Hampshire.
It’s your responsibility to hike safely. Be sure to follow the hiker responsibility code by being knowledgeable about where you are going and what the local weather and terrain conditions will be, leaving your plans with someone, turning back in inclement weather or if you are running out of daylight, and planning for emergencies. Visit www.hikesafe.com for more information.