NH Considers "Hike Safe" Card

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  1. #1
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Question NH Considers "Hike Safe" Card

    We've had this discussion a lot...who should pay for rescues of hikers and folks that get in trouble in the mountains? Especially when the person is reckless or negligent?

    http://www.wcax.com/story/26358439/n...hike-safe-card

    NH is considering a "Hike Safe" card that would be $25 for an individual per year and $35 for a family that would prevent the cardholder(s) from the possibility of having to foot the bill of rescue. It would be voluntary with funds going to fund search and rescue.

    I think it might be a good idea in order to help defray costs. But I fear that what may happen is that there will be MORE folks in trouble because they might feel as if they pay the money that it doesn't matter what they do. They don't have to pay for the consequences of their actions. They may not try to be as careful in their decisions. So it might have the reverse impact. Other than that maybe it is a good idea. I know that SAR teams in NH are generally volunteer or from multiple agencies and have been stretched thin.

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  2. #2
    This is definitely a double edged sword. It's good that proceeds from this card will pay for SAR instead of tax payers. But that cost of potentially paying for your own SAR is what I think makes hikers prepare for multiple contingencies, rather than just going out on a hike on a whim. But then on the flipside, yet again, if a hiker is lost and their life in danger, they may not try to call in for help if they know they'll have to pay. So it's really hard to say how it will work out one way or the other. Guess we'll see.

    I know Colorado has something like that, it's called a CORSAR card, I don't know a lot about it though other than it will pay for the non-medical aspect of SAR. If you get airlifted to a hospital, you'll have to pay for that portion.
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  3. #3
    Cannonball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thetrailboss View Post
    But I fear that what may happen is that there will be MORE folks in trouble because they might feel as if they pay the money that it doesn't matter what they do. They don't have to pay for the consequences of their actions. They may not try to be as careful in their decisions. So it might have the reverse impact.
    The type of people who will actually be aware of this card and willing to fork over some money up front for it are the same type of people who are aware, responsible backcountry users. They will be the least likely people to need a rescue. And if they do need a rescue it will be for a legitimate reason. The yahoos will continue to be clueless about safety and responsibility, and they sure as hell won't spend $25 of their beer money on program like this.

  4. #4
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannonball View Post
    The type of people who will actually be aware of this card and willing to fork over some money up front for it are the same type of people who are aware, responsible backcountry users. They will be the least likely people to need a rescue. And if they do need a rescue it will be for a legitimate reason. The yahoos will continue to be clueless about safety and responsibility, and they sure as hell won't spend $25 of their beer money on program like this.
    That is a good point. Guess we only have one way to find out and that is by doing it.
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  5. #5

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    I don't think the "voluntary" card will do any good to raise awareness (ok, the money it raise will help but nothing beyond that).

    However, I think a "backcountry insurance" card will be quite effective. You buy the "insurance" and you don't get billed for the rescue. It'll force people to pause and consider how much risk they're taking.

    As an "insurance", it needs to be visible everywhere!

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    walking on wet rocks in the rain is not safe but it an expereince for sure.

  7. #7
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Bump.

    Utah is following NH's lead and has a bill that passed the legislature and is before the Governor for signature. It will also provide for a rescue insurance card. I would seriously consider getting this myself.

    http://fox13now.com/2015/03/29/new-l...ixed-reaction/
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  8. #8
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Looks like someone is wishing that he had purchased a card:

    http://nhpr.org/post/negligent-hiker...-supreme-court
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  9. #9
    I do not hike much but would like to every now and then. There are new rules every year and I am willing to bet most who do decide to go hiking do not know what the rules are - I sure as hell don't.
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