Paul Varnum, Unsplash
Paul Varnum, Unsplash
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2 New York hikers, one from the Hudson Valley, were in need of rescuing last week.

When hiking in the winter months, looking ahead at the weather is an important step in the planning process. Timing out when storms will hit is essential when heading out on a longer trail.

Unfortunately, poor planning lead to 2 New York hikers needing rescuing on the Appalachian Trail in Maine last week. According to Yahoo! Sports, 36-year-old Jacob Haisley of Red Hook, New York, and Wayne Gage, 70, of Schenectady were planning on hiking 15 miles of the Appalachian Trail. This included popular Maine trails like Mount Abraham, Spaulding Mountain, and Sugarloaf Mountain.

The 2 New Yorkers started their hike around 8 AM on Tuesday, January 25th. However, shortly after they began, they found themselves in deep snow. Both men had no food, water, or proper winter hiking equipment.

Haisley and Gage luckily found shelter in a lean-to on Spaulding Mountain. Around 5:45 PM the men called 911. Maine Game Warden Kyle Hladik told Bangor Daily News:

"Poor planning, coupled with poor decisions, stranded these hikers in very dangerous conditions. They were very fortunate we were able to get to them quickly."

Three wildlife wardens searched the mountain by snowmobile and snowshoes. By 1 AM Wednesday, January 26th, the hikers made it back to base camp with the wildlife wardens.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recommends the following when hiking during the winter months:

  • Day pack large enough to carry your gear.
  • Water and high-energy snacks.
  • First aid kit.
  • Trail map and compass or GPS unit.
  • Extra clothing, including extra hats, socks, and mittens.
  • Plastic whistle (avoid metal, which can freeze)
  • Micro-spikes or crampons for icy conditions.
  • Flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries.

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