Know Before You Go On the Trail

Comment: Please be relevant, civil, non-commercial.

Winter hike preparation

Hello to all. My name is David Goodfellow and I live only a few miles from Harriman State Park. I hike there about two times a week and I'm fairly familiar with most of the trails there. This past weekend I had an experience that for me, raised concern and thought I should share that with the other members of the club so that they might pass it on. I was parked near Little Long Pond and hiked up past the old boyscout / girlscout camp that used to be there. I take this route often as a shortcut to the intersection of Dunning Trail and the Long Path. On the way out my tracks were the only ones in the new snow that had fallen earlier in the week. On my way home as I cut onto the old woods road I call a shortcut I noticed a set of fairly small prints headed towards the intersection of Dunning Trail and the Long Path. At first I didn't think much of it but as it was getting dark I started to question it in my mind. As I came upon a stream I saw that the person had not followed my tracks from earlier in the day. I had crossed where I know the water slows down a bit, knowing the ice would be thicker. This other person crossed in a different spot because of convenience and clearly fell through with one foot. I just had a gut feeling that this person was lost. When I returned to my truck I started it and began taking off my layers. As I was standing there A park police car pulled up and asked if I had seen an Asian woman hiking alone. He said she was part of a group but had gotten lost. I said no but told him about what I had seen. He took note and moved on as there was probably only ten minutes of light left. I can't be certain it was her prints but you know how minds work. The "what if" factor starts play games with you. Now that I've rambled too much and probably lost most readers I'll finally get to the point. Harriman is infamous for the large "group hikes" that are usually organized in NYC and it's great to see soo many people using the parks services. Hiking in winter is very beautiful to say the very least but can be much more dangerous than other times of the year. Especially when the sun goes down. If someone got lost and wasn't properly prepared or a little inexperienced they could find themselves in a lot of trouble. Last night was 13 degrees (F) and that's without the windchill factor. I'm an Architect and in school they taught us to design or expect the worst and you'll always be safe. The same theory applies here. I'm no self proclaimed expert in survival by any means but I always carry a few basic things that I feel everyone should carry in their pack this time of year. I carry a cell phone, map, compasss, matches & flint, a headlamp, an extra t-shirt ( if you break a sweat you should change your base layer) All of these things are small, light and cheap and can literally save your life if something went wrong. I would have loved to have helped that woman had I seen her but I'm sure they found her. Happy trails Dave Goodfellow

Very good cautionary advice

I think the above comment is very important. There are many places that are great for hiking but also can be very dangerous. Conditions can change rapidly - and not just during the winter. In some of the areas where I hike mist can roll in incredibly quickly between the hills and suddenly from a seemingly clear day visibility can be reduced to almost zero. Make sure you are always prepared and that people know where you are. JohnD

Hi there, thanks for sharing

Hi there, thanks for sharing your experience; I am new to hiking and I know it can be very dangerous in winter. My husband and I are very careful and we never go hiking alone. casino sans telechargement