Our quick intro to


The Outing Club explores beautiful places throughout New England virtually every weekend. Those accustomed to the outdoors recognize the types of hazards inherent to such places and take steps to mitigate them. These risks include such things as:

  • Tripping or falling due to difficult trail conditions such as uneven surfaces, steep inclines, fallen leaves, ice and snow, etc., or hidden rocks and roots protruding from the trail.
  • Increased exposure to the elements (heat, cold, rain, snow and ice, wind, etc.) and changes in weather.
  • Increased exposure to insects known in the New England region to carry disease, notably mosquitoes (West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis) and ticks (Lyme Disease), or stinging insects such as bees, wasps and hornets.
  • Coming in contact with toxic plants, such as poison ivy and poison oak.
  • Becoming lost or disoriented, which may lead to other complications by prolonging one's time in the outdoors.
  • Wildlife encounters (quite rare, especially when hiking with a group)
  • Hunting mishaps (also quite rare)
  • Dehydration or exhaustion due to insufficient food and water intake.
  • Delayed access to medical care in remote locations and difficulty evacuating injured patients.

Most risks can be easily mitigated by a few basic preparations. Wear good hiking shoes and pay attention to your footing. Bring appropriate layers of clothing. Use insect repellent and check for ticks after the trip. Pay attention to trail maps and markings and stay on designated trails. Bring food and water. Bring any medications you may need for severe allergies or other medical conditions. Stay with your group.

Wikipedia's Hazards of Outdoor Activities article focuses on more extreme adventures, but contains additional tips useful to all. Fact sheets for insect-borne diseases may be found in the preparedness, health and safety section of our resources page.

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