Perhaps your most important responsibility before starting a hike is to let someone know which part of the Trail you plan to hike and when you are expected to be back. It doesn’t matter if the outing is for an hour, half a day, overnight or a week. Your “guardian” should be informed to phone 911 if you do not return as scheduled.
Five sign-in boxes have been installed along the trail. Hikers are encouraged to register at each box as they pass. The information will be invaluable for search and rescue operations.
Unless you are familiar with the Trail, it is always advisable to carry a map and know how to read it. A compass or a GPS and a satellite communications devices such as a SPOT or INREACH are strongly recommended to bring on Multi-day or Thru hikes as well. Make sure you have tested and know how to use them prior to hiking.
The SNMT runs parallel to the Nepisiguit River offering frequent opportunities to obtain water. River water must be treated or filtered before consumption. On multi-day hikes, it is wise to bring a backup water treatment system in case your primary system fails or is lost. A good back up is water purification tablets or drops. Water must be boiled for a minimum of 3 minutes before it is potable.
Please do not feed wildlife nor attract them to campsites by leaving food behind. Avoid bringing food into your tent. Overnight, it is best to hang food from a tree at least 4 meters off the ground and 50 meters from your campsite.
Open fires are not permitted on the Sentier Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail. It is recommeded that food be cooked with a compact portable jet stove or similar device.
Make sure you wear comfortable, supportive and broken-in footwear suitable for potentially wet, muddy and rough terrain.
Blisters can quickly put an end to a hiking adventure. Ideally, in the weeks before a multiday or thru hike you should condition your feet by periodically taking long walks with a weighted backpack.
If during your hike hotspots appear on your feet, stop and cover them immediately with a second skin bandage or duct tape. Make boot adjustments. Allow your feet, socks and boots to air and dry whenever possible. Many multiday and thru hikers, after arriving at their campsites, give their feet welcome relief by changing into light shoes.
Insects normally appear in the last week of May and are at their peak from the middle of June until early August. The Nepisiguit Valley, because of its rich diversity of wetlands has more than its fair share. Biting insects are, of course, the most annoying and include black flies, mosquitoes, no-see-ums, deer flies, and horse flies. During the peak bug season it is important to bring a bug jacket and insect repellant. Wear light-coloured long-sleeved shirts and full-length pants.
Wasps often build nests in fallen trees and underground cavities. Watch for their presence when choosing rest spots. Bring appropriate medication if you are allergic to their stings.