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Safety a priority for hikers

POWNAL (WGME) -- Millions of people go out and hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail every year. Whether you're planning on hiking for a few days or a few months, you need to make sure you're prepared out on the trails.

Appalachian Trail hiker Wayne Newton says all you need is the right equipment and the right attitude. Newton, or Fig as the hikers like to call him, has hiked the Appalachian Trail three times.

His pack is full with everything he needs for a six month hike from Mt. Springer in Georgia to Mt. Katahdin. It includes a z-rest to sleep on, a water filter, extra clothes, food bag, and alcohol stove. He says Appalachian Trail hikers can often travel 15 to 20 miles a day. Instead of making frequent trips into town, he likes to keep enough food for a few days with him. Once he's ready to go Newton says the trail is easy to follow.

"It's a white blaze, two inches by six inches for the whole trail," Newton said of the trail marker.

If you do have to leave the path, Newton says make sure to bring your pack and a whistle with you.

"I always carry my pack with me when I leave the trail so when I get lost in the woods hopefully I have enough food and gear to survive for a while," said Newton.

Out of the thousands of hikers who attempt the whole trail, only a handful complete the 2,000 miles. Newton says no matter how much of the trail you do, make sure you enjoy the view.

"Every time you come around the corner, there's always something new. It's like taking a trip in slow motion."