Member Club of New York - New Jersey Trail Conference
If you can walk, you can hike.
One good thing about hiking is that you don't need to spend a lot of money to get started. The essentials are: Small Day Pack, Water, Map of area in waterproof case, Compasses, Flashlight, Food, Hiking Clothes and footwear, First Aid Kit, Pocket Knife/Multipurpose Tool, Waterproof/Windproof matches
CMCNY Hiking Rating System
Each hiking activity is rated through grade A-F, the following is the explanation of the ratings:
Level A - Very easy. Mostly flat terrain. 3-5 miles.
Level B - Easy hike. Some hills, 4-7 miles.
Level C - Moderate for most of people. Some steep hills, 5-8 miles
Level D - Challenging, steeper terrain, 8-10 miles
Level E - Strenuous, 9-15 miles
Level F - Difficult, 15 miles +
* Travel only on foot.
* Stay on the trail - short cuts erode the land and make more work for the volunteers who maintain the trail.
* If you packed it in, pack it out! Help out by picking up any trash others have left behind, too.
* Travel in small groups. Four to six is ideal; 25 is the maximum.
* Respect other hikers and wildlife by traveling quietly
* Pets are best left at home. If you do bring them, keep them on a leash and away from water source and clean up after them.
There are some very basic Hiking Rules and Trail Etiquette that ensure that your Hiking experience does not damage the natural environment or the experience of fellow hikers. They are all common sense and they take little to no effort to follow. Be a good ambassador of Hiking and take the following guidelines into account:
Before you go Hiking
Know your own Physical, Mental and Technical Abilities and your Restrictions. Adjust your plans accordingly. In this way, you can prevent problems that might cause personal injuries or injuries to others.
Make sure you are well-informed about the trails you will take, the Hiking Terrain Conditions as well as Hiking Weather Conditions. Have a detailed and up to date Hiking Map with you. Check with local authorities for last minute updates and firsthand information.
Make sure to be well-equipped for your intended hike and Terrain/Weather conditions. Take enough food and drinks for your intended hike. You may also bring more if you want.
Inform people of your itinerary and your expected time of return. If possible, call those who are not joining you at regular intervals, so they know where you are.
Be environmentally aware. Natural environments that facilitate great Hiking experiences are being threatened enough as it is so do not add to this. Do not damage any flora and fauna that you may encounter.
Do not litter. Take all your waste with you and if you should stumble on somebody else's waste, be the better person and take it with you. Organic material, though decomposable, should be buried or taken with you to avoid animal feeding on it. All you should leave are your footsteps.
Urinate at a fair distance from the trail and possible water sources. For bigger 'contributions', make sure to dig a hole. Use any fuel to burn any toilet paper that you might have used. Extinguish the fire and cover up the hole.
If you are going to use soap or detergent for washing yourself or clothes, make sure to do it at least 100 meters from the nearest water source. Use biodegradable products.
Stay on the trails and do not go wandering off. By using the trails, you ensure that you will not further disturb nature and it will minimize the chances of getting lost.
If you notice any damage to the trail or trail signs, make sure to note down the exact location and notify the proper authorities. Damaged or destroyed trails or trail signs can cause serious difficulties for other hikers.
Do not disturb the environment by shouting or playing loud music. People go back to nature for the peace it can offer.
If you plan to camp, make sure that you know the local regulations concerning camping and making fire. Many places will have designated camping/fire areas and it is often illegal to camp or make fire outside of these designated areas.
Make sure you know the local regulations regarding fishing/hunting before you do so. In most cases, you will need a local permit to fish or hunt.
If you plan to take your dog along for your hikes, then make sure to check local regulations and keep your dog on a leash at all times if the local regulations require you to do so.
These are some points to consider regarding Hiking Rules and Trail Etiquette. In general, adhere to the local regulations and to the regulations of your own conscience. Remember that you only get what you give so do nothing that may harm other hikers as well as the environment.