Forest Rangers unimpressed after soggy hiker calls them for help with wet camping gear – twice

Hiker wearing jeans in rainy weather
(Image credit: Getty Images)

New York State Forest Rangers were unimpressed after a poorly prepared hiker called emergency dispatchers to help him with his damp camping gear not once, but twice, asking someone to give him a ride home.

In a press release, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) explains that dispatchers received the first call for help at 9:05pm on Friday October 5. The caller, who had been hiking the Rooster Comb Trail (rated moderately difficult on AllTrails), complained that his camping gear was wet, and asked for a ride out.

Because he was uninjured, dispatchers advised him to make his way back to the trailhead, organize a ride for himself, and find somewhere to stay.

About half an hour later the hiker called back, complaining that he was too cold and didn't think he could make it back to the trailhead with his bike.

A Forest Ranger spoke with the man, then hiked out to find him, help with his gear, and get him safely to a motel for the night. When the Ranger arrived, they found that the caller had come very badly prepared, wearing jeans, sneakers, and a thin jacket rather than proper hiking gear.

Say no to jeans

Hiking in jeans is never a good idea, especially in wet and cold weather. Although their thick, robust material might seem warm, they are made from cotton, which absorbs water like a sponge rather than wicking it away like wool, nylon, or polyester. The sodden fabric clings to your skin, causing your skin to lose heat rapidly like a cold compress.

The wet material is also heavy, which can restrict your movements. It's always best to stick to proper hiking pants, and have rain pants on hand if the weather is likely to be wet.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.