Officials give hiking safety tips for Appalachian Trail

The most important hiking tool may surprise some

Officials said June is the prime month for hiking on the Appalachian Trail, and emergency services responders want to make sure they are safe while hiking.
Smithsburg Volunteer Emergency Medical Services officials said hikers should have a pack filled with essentials like bug spray, sun screen and a first aid kit. The pack should also be filled with water and snacks to ward off exhaustion and dehydration.
They also warn ambitious hikers from taking to the trails if they're not feeling well, but the most important tool you could have in case of an emergency is a cell phone.
“The dispatchers can actually ping the location of the cell phone to find the exact location. Then, we know exactly where to go on the trail," said Ward Fleger, Smithsburg EMS Director. 
Fleger said phones should always be turned on and charged during a hike, and hikers should also consider packing a portable charger.

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