NEWS ITEM: A new law authorizing the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department to sell voluntary “hike safe” cards for $25 per person and $35 per family was signed into law by Governor Maggie Hassan on July 21, 2014. The law takes effect Jan 1., 2015.
Those who obtain the cards will not be liable to repay rescue costs if they need to be rescued due to negligence on their part, regardless of whether they are hiking, boating, cross country skiing, hunting, or engaging in any other outdoor activity.
Top 15 uses of Hike Safe card, 2015 (projected):
15. Reached summit, realized Nutella-and-banana sandwiches are still on kitchen counter, a full state away. Hungry.*
14. Fear Instagram filters insufficient to provide a summit photo breathtaking enough to strike envy in the heart of my Facebook friends. Need professional photographer, makeup artist airlifted to the summit.
13. Reached summit, realized wallet and keys were left on top of the car. Need someone to break the news to wife.*
12. Other hiker wearing same boot-shirt-paisley-buff combination as I am. Make them change.
11. Bar at the top of Cannon serving only Bud Light Lime. Please send a case of Tuckerman’s up on the tram.
10. Son has had hiccups for the entirety of 13-mile hike. Please don bear costume and jump out from behind a tree to scare him. Can’t listen any more.*
9. Expected view socked in by clouds. Want refund of $3 parking fee.
8. Thought “Home to the world’s most dangerous weather” was a mere catchphrase, like “Where’s the beef?” or “Taste the rainbow.” Was shocked to be caught in an August hailstorm while hiking above Hermit Lake in 2-inch heels, carrying only my tiny, terrified Pekingese, who is barking incessantly from the folds of my purse.*
7. Can see my house from here! Looks like I left the iron on.
6. Got to the trailhead. Forgot to pack shorts. Got any extra?*
5. Am not hiking to complete a list, redline a trail or register a FKT. Have been asked to leave the woods.
4. Regret feeding son dinner of undercooked steak, smores and GORP at campsite last night, then following him up the trail today. Please send gas mask.*
3. You mean I have to walk all the way back, too?
2. Had close encounter with moose. Learned moose are not kindly creatures who offer folksy wisdom, pal around with flying squirrels and fight Communists. Rather, they are smelly, grumpy giants who do not like to be petted. Please return my childhood.
1. Want to live free, not die.
* It happened to me. Except for No. 8, which I witnessed. Even I would not climb Mount Washington in 2-inch heels (though I have the calves to look good doing it).