Camp Driftwood. Hiking and Winter Safety

PLEASE BE CAREFUL when hiking. Stay on trails. Sign registers wherever possible. Always let someone know where you're going and when you expect to return (car make, color and license number are also useful).

CHECK WEATHER reports and plan your hikes carefully so you'll have plenty of time to get home before dark.

BE PREPARED for emergencies. Someone in the party should bring along a compass and map or guidebook (and know how to use them), a pocketknife, waterproof matches and firestarter, extra high-energy food, a first-aid kit, flashlight (with extra batteries and bulb), space blanket or small tarp, nylon cord (to construct shelter from the tarp), and extra protective clothing. A small pack of these items could save your life.

WEAR PROPER CLOTHING for unexpected changes in the weather. Avoid blue jeans and sneakers.

DON'T LITTER. Whatever you carry in, please carry back out.

STAY CALM if you become lost, keep warm, and stay where you are. If you feel you can find your way out, remember that following streams downhill will usually lead you closer to habitation.

BE ESPECIALLY CAREFUL of matches, cigarettes and fire.

WINTER ATTIRE: Remember that cotton kills! When it becomes soaked with water it loses all insulating quality. Use clothes that do not absorb moisture: wool, polypropylene, fleece or nylon can help retain body heat in wet environments or while sweating. This helps prevent hypothermia.

LAYER YOUR CLOTHES. Layer #1: long-johns should not contain any cotton. Look for polypropylene. Socks should be wool or nylon and wool blend. The rest of your clothes should consist of several fast-drying layers of wool, acrylic and/or polyester that you can take on and off to match the conditions. Be sure to carry a waterproof outer shell. Good hats and mittens are a must. More than one set is a good idea.

EMERGENCY CALLS can't be made the way they are back home. Cell phone coverage can range from spotty in a very few areas to non-existent almost everywhere. And, as of 2009, there is still no 911 service in this area. Use the following numbers:

Ambulance in Indian Lake: 518-648-5000
Fire In Indian Lake: 518-648-5655
Ambulance and fire in Blue Mountain Lake: 518-352-7711
State Police: 518-648-5757
Sheriff: 518-548-6111