HomeRecreationFish and Game: Be Aware, Prepared, and Responsible When Exploring This Spring

Fish and Game: Be Aware, Prepared, and Responsible When Exploring This Spring

Spring in New Hampshire is an exciting time to enjoy the outdoors, and the prospect of witnessing a total solar eclipse will certainly entice additional visitors to the Granite State.

With late-season winter precipitation continuing to accumulate, outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels must be aware that recreation this spring requires personal responsibility and preparation. With snow and ice remaining at a variety of elevations, dramatic fluctuations in temperature, and unpredictable weather conditions, adventure at this time of the year also requires extra precautions. The conditions greeting hikers and amateur astronomers at trailheads and parking lots will not be reflective of those found at higher elevations. Also, all waterbodies should be considered hazardous due to cold water temperatures and fast-moving currents as a result of snowmelt.

“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.”

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:

  • Map
  • Compass
  • Warm Clothing:
    • Sweater or Fleece Jacket
    • Long Pants (wool or synthetic)
    • Hat (wool)
  • Extra Food and Water
  • Flashlight or Headlamp
  • Matches/Firestarters
  • First Aid Kit/Repair Kit
  • Whistle
  • 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 2024. 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 2024 Hike Safe card costs $25 for an individual, or $35 for a family, and is 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.

The eclipse of April 8 is expected to bring a high volume of traffic to New Hampshire, especially in Coos County. All outdoor enthusiasts should stay on paved roads and should not rely on GPS in rural areas. Due to an anticipated high call volume, it could be hours before you receive assistance with a mud-stuck vehicle.

All visitors to the North Country should respect landowners and be aware that it is illegal to operate a wheeled vehicle on private property without landowner permission. All OHRV trails in New Hampshire are currently closed.

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.

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