Trek Safely Every Season of the Year!
Winter hiking: Exhilarating but please stay safe!
Recommended reading & viewing:
- This story was produced by WCAX on December 10, 2018 - "Producers of app aim to cut down on backcountry rescues" (includes a 3-minute video) and interviews with Neil Van Dyke, the state's search and rescue coordinator and GMC's Matt Krebs, operations and publications coordinator.
- To check out the GMC's new digital downloadable maps that don't require cell phone service, CLICK HERE. (Or choose GMC's 'Shop' menu item.) Once there, scroll down to view all available maps. Please note that GMC strongly recommends always having a paper map and compass in the backcountry. Digital devices may fail due to batteries dying, getting wet or broken, etc, and should only be used as an addition to paper maps.
- "Winter Trekking" (a series of 7 videos): Especially helpful for cold weather trekking, these are GMC videos recorded in 2012. Subjects include dressing for cold weather and how to guard against hypothermia.
- GMC-sponsored workshops The Green Mountain Club offers a variety of programs and workshops to help you or your group travel safely and confidently in Vermont’s backcountry and have fun while doing it.
- On GMC's website, Trip Planning and "10 Essentials"
Weather Forecast Websites
Make sure you check an up-to-date online weather forecast before heading out!
- Eye on the Sky (at Fairbanks Museum)
- NOAA's National Weather Service
- Mountain Point Forecast (at NOAA.gov) gives you real-time weather reports on Vermont Peaks!
Hiking Safety Reminders
Check VT Dept. of Fish and Wildlife page for ALL specific hunting season dates.
All the land crossed by the Long Trail is open to hunting during regular hunting seasons and many other VT trails cross hunting land.
- Always wear blaze orange that is visible from both front and back.
- Be especially careful in valleys and near roads and trailheads.
- Don’t wear clothing with patches of white that might be mistaken for a deer.
- Be prepared for changeable weather.
- Wear or carry a layer that wicks away moisture (not cotton) and a protective layer for wind and rain.
- Bring gloves and a hat.
- Pack a headlamp or flashlight just in case you come down the trail after sunset.
Topics at the above link include black bears, moose, peregrine falcons (nesting), ticks (Lyme Disease) and rabies.
EVERY SEASON IS TICK SEASON:
Bringing increased risk of tick-borne illnesses.
Learn about Ticks in Vermont (from the Vermont Health Dept. website)
· Especially useful are links from the above website, include:
- Protect Yourself: Best way to protect disease is to prevent tick bites.
- Ticks and Lyme Disease Fact Sheets and Educational Resources, including a pocket-sized card for quick ID of ticks and tips for repelling and removing them
The Vermont Department of Health warns residents to be vigilant against the rise of the deer tick population. Deer ticks are carriers of Lyme disease. The following is a list of precautions to take when heading outdoors:
- Wear light-colored clothing with tight weave to spot ticks easily.
- Wear enclosed shoes, long pants and long-sleeved shirt.
- Tuck shirt into pants and pants into socks or boots.
- The chemical permethrin kills ticks and can be applied to clothing, but not to exposed skin.
- Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors.
- Stay on cleared, well-traveled trails. Walk in the center of trails. Avoid dense woods and bushy areas.
- Avoid sitting directly on the ground or on stonewalls.
Bathe or shower promptly after exposure (preferably within 2 hours) and use the opportunity to check for ticks. If found remove promptly and watch for symptoms. Remember, tuck your pants into your socks and check for ticks after being outdoors.