I finally got myself a Hike Safe Card from New Hampshire Fish and Game.
For a measly $25, the money goes directly to NH Fish and Game who spend thousands of dollars and hours often risking lives in order to rescue hikers and outdoor enthusiasts who get into trouble out there on those rugged White Mountains and deep woods.
The card also keeps you from being liable for costs associated with a rescue mission. For example, if you go out on an aggressive hike totally unprepared (like wearing jeans and carrying no food or water or map) and then something happens and you need a helicopter evacuation, than yes, you will get a bill for that and have to pay for your negligence. You can still be held accountable even with the card (like the example I gave) but I think the idea of the card is more about that act of buying the card. It shows that you are thinking ahead and making the extra effort to be prepared out there. This is something I think about and talk about with my hiking companions when I go on a hike. I consider how I might be evaluated if I were to be evacuated by a helicopter…like if NH Fish and Game looked in my backpack upon rescuing me and discovered that I only had 8/10 of the Ten Essentials, what would be the ruling if I forgot my whistle or compass? Having the card simply helps me remember my whistle and compass.
I feel proud to carry one now…like I’ve made a commitment to hike more and be more safe and more prepared. You might say I’m engaged with the White Mountains now. Remind me to show you my shiny new laminated Hike Safe Card.
You can get your own Hike Safe Card here: