Hiking season is in full swing in New York, and authorities are asking adventure-seekers to pack a special piece of clothing the next time they hit the trails.

Proper gear can be the difference between a successful hiking trip and disaster. From proper footwear to enough water, there is a long list of must-haves that will help any excursion. One item, however, seems a little silly until you understand its usefulness: a funky hat.

Photo of the Shawangunk mountain range near Mohonk Mountain House
Hiker safety in New York includes wearing a bright hat on the trail (Google)

Bright Hats for Hiking Safety in New York State

The reason for a funky hat (and shirt if you can manage) doesn't have to do with ensuring a safe trip up and down a mountain, but they can come in handy for hikers who become stranded. There are countless mountaintop rescues in New York every year, with many requiring the use of helicopters to extract stranded subjects safely. A bright shiny hat might help.

Photo of hikers lost on a mountainside
Wearing bright clothing can help stranded hikers be found more easily in New York (Alpine Rescue Team via Facebook)

Bright Colors for Rescue Visibility in New York State

"Be searchable!", posted the Alpine Rescue Team on Facebook (below). The non-profit rescue organization went on to explain that bright colors, even something as small as a hat, can mean the difference between staying lost or being found when rescue teams are searching for a stranded hiker.

Important Hiking Safety Tip for New Yorkers

"One of the most important [preventative search and rescue] messages is not to wear those fashionable black or gray outer layers", agreed one commenter. "My dad bought me the most obnoxious fluorescent orange jacket and begged me to wear it when I went skiing. He was a pilot and said, “if you ever break a leg or get lost, you want people from the air to be able to see you", said another. The next time you're prepping for an excursion, wear your brightest clothing for safety. 

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Hiking Safety Similar to Swimming Safety

The color theory is similar to messages regarding pool safety. Both children and adults are urged to wear swimsuits with bright colors like neon pink, orange, or bright green, which are far more visible underwater than "plain" colors like black, white, or gray. With the safety brief out of the way, check out some of the best Hudson Valley hikes below, and keep scrolling to see the best swimming lakes in the state.

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New York's 14 Best Lakes For Swimming

What makes a great swimming hole? Pristine waters, great beaches, mild temps, shallow waters, lifeguards, and more are many of the characteristics that are common in AZ Animals 14 best lakes for swimming in the state of New York. From just outside the city, to the Finger Lakes, to the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, these are your must-visit swimming holes for summer 2023!

Gallery Credit: Matty Jeff