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Discussion: Trail safety for new hikers in CV times

in: Orienteering; News

Mar 23, 2020 3:33 PM # 
piutepro:
I am working with a local newspaper reporter here in the Hudson Valley. He published this article last week, pointing out less crowded trails.
https://highlandscurrent.org/2020/03/21/out-there-...
The idea is to provide information about less used trails, so that the trails are not crowded like the line of Mt. Everest climbers last year.

Many of the new hikers seem inexperienced and might get lost or injured. The SAR teams and the local firefighters spend each summer many hours getting people off the Instagram-famous Breakneck Ridge trail. Now this would be an undue stress on the first-responders.

I want to write a one page pdf for people to go out in the woods safely.
(Plan, make a risk assessment. Bring a paper map, a real compass and a whistle. Stay together. Do NOT rely on cell phone. Plus a few more ideas.)

It will be short and provide people support to go out in the woods, not making it sound scary or too dangerous.

In my work at Thayer Leadership at West Point we give people a short 5-10 min. map and compass intro and they do well in my navigation exercise (a score o with many twists added) even when they have no previous navigation experience.

Some trails in the Hudson Valley don't allow stepping to the side, either they are cut in the rock, are on a steep hill side or have Mountain Laurel on both sides.

One might think, this is a minor issue, but I encounter it on my trail runs up Mt. Beacon that people have not much situational awareness, wear headphones or are simple spaced out and walk right into my path whatever I do to keep away from them.

My question: I try to think of an easy way how people decide pass each other, e.g. coming up and down a steep, narrow mountain path.
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Mar 23, 2020 3:59 PM # 
piutepro:
After producing the Info sheet and have it vetted, I will see if I can upload it for anyone who needs it. I also assume that someone else already might have written something similar, e.g. I am also getting ideas from the HVO SAR plan that we use for events like the Hudson Highlander.

As orienteers, we have a lot of experience which can be valuable for people to experience some joy and relief when they go for a walk, a hike or a run in the woods while being safe.

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