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In N.H., Hikers Head Out Unprepared

In New Hampshire this summer, many hikers will hit the trail without proper gear.  That’s the word from a new Brown University study. The report finds that younger hikers and those on shorter journeys are particularly likely to trek unprepared.

Out of 199 hikers surveyed in NH in 2011, only 18 percent met the study’s requirements for preparedness. That means the hikers were not carrying the necessary eight out of 10 essential items including a map, compass, and extra clothing. The study’s lead researcher, Brown University medical student Ryan Mason, says that preparedness often corresponds with hikers’ ages.

“More specifically, breaking it down by age groups, the 50-59-year-old age group was the most prepared, versus the 20-29-year-old age group, which was one of the least prepared.”

Mason’s study reinforces the concerns of some lawmakers, who worry NH Search and Rescue doesn’t have enough funding to rescue unprepared hikers. Earlier this year, the House introduced a bill addressing those concerns, but it was retained in committee.

Mason referred to New Hampshire's Hike Safe website for his list of 10 essential items.



Extra clothes

Rain gear

Fire starter


Extra food and water

First aid kit


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