With the official start of summer right around the corner, many people are excited about hiking the mountains the area has to offer. 

"It starts with a good plan and research at home, first and foremost," DEC Forest Ranger Howard Kreft said.

He says the outdoors are full of surprises and you can never be too prepared.

"You want to make sure you have good sturdy footwear, hiking boots with ankle support. You want to have a map, a compass, extra clothing, layers. You want to have a GPS, your cell phone," Kreft said.

He says filling out the hiking registry before you start the hike is crucial in case something goes wrong. It's usually a metal box with a clipboard inside, where you put your name, address, and most importantly, your phone number. 

"The phone number is crucial, because it will help us potentially ping their location using a county dispatch center, which will help us locate their GPS coordinates," Kreft said.

If something does go wrong out on a hike, Kreft says the more people there, the better.

"Generally speaking, you want to hike with at least one other person, if not more, so that if something were to happen, you have some people that can help get help," Kreft added.

Kreft says if you get lost or injured on a hike, stay together and try to find a spot with cell service. Getting a signal out in the woods can sometimes be tricky, but notifying a family member ahead of time when you should be back from the hike is key. That way if you don't come back, they know to alert the authorities.