My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.
|Groups may make up as much as one-third of all hikers in the White Mountains. Often members of the group have little or no experience in the outdoors.
If you or your child is part of such a group, here are some questions you should ask prior to setting out:
1. Are the group leaders experienced? What kinds of outdoor experience and group leadership training have they had? Do they have the knowledge and gear necessary, including a first aid kit? Are there enough leaders for the size of the group? Will they turn back if the situation changes? What are your emergency plans?
2. Will the hike be paced to the slowest hiker? You should start as a group, hike as a group, end as a group.
3. Are all members of the group required to bring at least a minimum of gear, including warm clothing, appropriate footwear, extra food and water, a whistle, rain gear, and a flashlight?
4. Are group members, especially those who are inexperienced, told what to do if they become separated from the group or there is an emergency?
5. Are the leaders aware of any medical conditions of each group member?
Keeping your group size is recommended everywhere. Groups must be left to 10 or less in designated wilderness.
Most groups - such as Scout troops, school and church groups, and other groups led by volunteers don't need a permit to hike in the White Mountain National Forest. However, please call before you go.
However, if your group is a commercial venture, such as a camp or college or guide service, you will need an Outfitter Guide Permit for trips in the National Forest. To obtain a permit application for the White Mountain National Forest, contact: Jennifer Batt, U.S. Forest Service, 300 Glen Road, Gorham, NH 03581-1399. Or call 603-466-2713, ext. 213.
The White Mountain National Forest has a wide variety of cabins, shelters and huts. The Appalachian Mountain Club also maintains a number of popular backcountry campsites in the White Mountains, most of which are located along the Appalachian Trail, and are managed under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Forest Service.
Reservations are NOT accepted. The sites are operated on a first-come, first-served basis. However, if you are planning a trip with six or more people, use the AMC's Group Notification System. For more on this, log onto http://www.outdoors.org/lodging/campsites/index.cfm and go to the lodging/campsites section. Or call 603-466-2721. This notification is NOT a reservation. This does help lessen impacts on the backcountry, minimize overcrowding and increase everyone's enjoyment of the backcountry experience.