Staying safe while enjoying the hiking trails

Local News

Earlier this month 43-year old Ronald Sanchez Jr. of Oklahoma was stabbed to death on the Appalachian Trail in southwestern Virginia, it’s a rare occurrence according to Kristin McLane from the Green Mountain Club

She says it’s estimated that 200,000 people will visit Vermont’s Long Trail this year, and told Local 22 & Local 44 News the incident doesn’t reflect the hiking community. 

“They want everybody else to feel safe,” said McLane. “They are welcoming and they just want to help each other.”

Those concerned about something similar happening really shouldn’t, you are more likely to injure yourself by tripping and falling down. McLane knows that all too well. 

“I have personally broken bones on trails, I fell and broke my ankle in Colorado,” McLane explained she was hiking alone at the time. “Within a few minutes, somebody else had come along, stopped and helped me.”

For that reason it’s always a good idea to let someone know where you are hiking, and what time you are expected back. For some reason you don’t make it back, the authorities know where to look. 

While it’s a good idea to have a first aid kit, McLane says it can become dead weight if you don’t know how to use it properly. 

Looking ahead to Memorial Day Weekend, she reminds those seeking an adventure on the trails, you may run into old man winter. 

“There is a lot of snow still out there (in areas above 3,500 feet). People need to be prepared for winter conditions if they are going out for a hike this weekend.”

While it may be warm down in the valley, it can get rather cold still on the mountaintops, dress warmly.

“Especially in Vermont, it can be cold any time of year. Even in August, I always have a warm jacket with me,” said McLane.

Planning a trip, you can read here more information on what to pack. Then you are ready to make some awesome memories as McLane has. 

“I’ve just met so many other hikers on the trail that have become my best friends,” she said. “And I am still in touch with them years later.”

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