"One of the perks of living in Santa Fe is the amazing wilderness that surrounds our city"
One of the perks of living in Santa Fe is the amazing wilderness that surrounds our city. A short drive in any direction gives us access to a plethora of outdoor activities. However, we must understand it is our responsibility to treat the forests with respect. Here are a few guidelines every hiker should follow:
Let somebody know where you will be and when to expect your return, or leave the information in an open location at home.
Pay attention to the weather. Lightning and flash floods can become an instant danger in New Mexico.
Make sure all hikers are in good health.
Don’t hike in large groups. This puts extra strain on the path, and it disturbs the inhabitants of the forest.
Stay on the path. Short cuts look tempting, but they contribute to erosion.
I always pack plenty of water, a small first aid kit, sunscreen, a flashlight, trail map, cell phone, small poncho and a sweater. A knife or bear mace is also a good idea.
Leave no trace. Leave interesting artifacts for other hikers to enjoy. Don’t leave any waste – even apple cores or banana peels. Human waste must be at least 200 feet from water or trails and buried at least 6” deep. Any toilet paper or hygiene products must be carried back for disposal.
Also, here’s useful links for any local outdoor enthusiasts. They will have information about any park closings or special events. You can find trail maps, campground information and fire restriction information before you take off on your journey:
Santa Fe National Forest: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/sfe/
Carson National Forest: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/carson/
New Mexico State Parks: http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/prd/
New Mexico Fire Info: http://nmfireinfo.wordpress.com/