It's a fact that tends to get overlooked, but hiking is a dangerous activity.
In order to ensure their safety
, hikers must be physically strong with great stamina and must also be equipped with adequate food, water, compasses, maps, gear, and proper clothing based on the current and projected weather conditions. Unfortunately, hikers sometimes overestimate their abilities
and their preparedness and find themselves lost in the wilderness, thereby requiring the assistance of others.
New York State has a long history of lost and injured hikers that have been rescued from small treks to the High Peaks
. This month alone, there have been nine rescue missions
carried out by DEC Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks ranging in severity from a lost snowshoer who was safely returned to his vehicle an hour after he was reported missing to a mother and her two sons who were lost overnight on Mount Marcy
. The frequency of these rescues leads us to the following question: When hikes go wrong, who is responsible?