Lt. Todd Bogardus (603) 744-5470
Rebecca Oreskes (603) 466-2713
Ryan Triffitt (603) 356-3030
May 24, 2004

hikeSafe This Summer
The Hiker Responsibility Code provides all hikers with guidelines for safety in the mountains.

WHITE MOUNTAINS , N.H. -- With Memorial Day weekend marking the beginning of the summer season, campers, hikers and backpackers will once again begin to explore the White Mountains of New Hampshire and hikeSafe wants to be certain everyone is prepared.

hikeSafe endeavors to teach people how to avoid a dangerous situation as well as educate people on what to do during an emergency, and the Hiker Responsibility Code stresses prevention as the best means of staying safe. The Hiker Responsibility Code advises hikers to be, above all, prepared for the worst situations and gives instant insight on how to do so. It also advises veteran hikers to reach out to inexperienced hikers and share the Hiker Responsibility Code and their experience with them. Designed for experienced trekkers and novice hikers alike, the Hiker Responsibility Code is posted throughout the White Mountain National Forest and other New Hampshire locations.

Hiker Responsibility Code

You are responsible for yourself, so be prepared:

  • With knowledge and gear. Become self reliant by learning about the terrain, conditions, local weather and your equipment before you start.
  • To leave your plans. Tell someone where you are going, the trails you are hiking, when you'll return and your emergency plans.
  • To stay together. When you start as a group, hike as a group, end as a group. Pace your hike to the slowest person.
  • To turn back. Weather changes quickly in the mountains. Fatigue and unexpected conditions can also affect your hike. Know your limitations and when to postpone your hike. The mountains will be there another day.
  • For emergencies, even if you are headed out for just an hour. An injury, severe weather or a wrong turn could become life threatening. Don't assume you will be rescued; know how to rescue yourself.
  • To share the hiker code with others.

hikeSafe: It's Your Responsibility.

The Hiker Responsibility Code is a guide for beginning any backcountry trek, no matter how long. It is also important to remember that even though it is summer in the valleys, wintry weather and storms can occur in the mountains without any warning. Additionally, snow from the winter is often slow to melt and can be prevalent at higher elevations. Snow that has melted can make water crossings high and potentially dangerous to cross; so all hikers should use extra caution.

Additional resources for hiking preparation, including a gear list and what parents should do for children, can be found at

hikeSafe educates those hiking throughout the White Mountains and New Hampshire about the steps they must take in order to be prepared when entering the forest-including the Hiker Responsibility Code. For more information, please visit, or contact Lt. Todd Bogardus of New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, (603) 744.5470 or; Rebecca Oreskes of the White Mountain National Forest, (603) 466-2713 x212 or; or Ryan Triffitt of Glen Group, (603) 356.3030 or

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