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Keeping safe on the trail

May 01, 2001

Keeping safe on the trail

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Do not hike alone.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Leave your trip itinerary with family and friends.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Dress conservatively to avoid unwelcome attention.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Do not respond to taunts or attempts at intimidation.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Be friendly but cautious in your conversations with strangers. Pay attention to the details of their location, appearance and behavior. Avoid people who act strangely, provocatively, hostile or drunk.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Don't share trip plans with suspicious strangers, and avoid describing the whereabouts of fellow hikers.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Camp away from roads and motor vehicles, where harassment is most likely to occur. Camp in locations that are remote from vehicular access. If concerned because of an encounter earlier in the day, hide your camp.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Do not carry firearms. They are illegal if carried without a license or if concealed, and odds are an innocent person will be hurt.

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HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Eliminate opportunities for theft by never leaving your pack unattended. If you must leave your pack, check it with a local business or hide it carefully. Do not leave cash, cameras or expensive equipment in cars parked at remote trailheads.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> If you are the witness to or a victim of harassment, report the crime to local law-enforcement authorities and also to the Appalachian Trail Conference at 1-304-535-6331 or by sending e-mail to incident@atconf.org. An incident report form can be downloaded from www.atconf.org on the Web.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Use trail and shelter registers, if available. Sign entries with your real name, as well as any trail name you are using. Report suspicious activity there, too. Along the Appalachian Trail, if volunteers need to locate you or if a serious crime has been committed and authorities need more information, they turn to registers first.

- Appalachian Trail Conference

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