(Courtesy of COMMSAR) Pre-planning your hike, is what’s right.
Rushing into an outdoor adventure, may turn into a disaster.
When staying safe is your aim, prevention is the name of the game.
1. Research your intended hike route for level of difficulty, proper permits, parking, etc.
2. Write a hike plan with intended trails and expected time of completion. Leave a copy at home or camp.
3. Never hike alone and never split from your group.
4. Always plan for rain and darkness (the mountains can have their own weather system).
5. Pack along a few essentials: flashlight with extra batteries, rain poncho, pocket knife, whistle, lighter, basic first aid supplies, sunscreen, insect repellent.
6. Always have a fully charged cell phone with you.
7. Bring along food and plenty of water and some extra nutrition bars in case of the unpredictable.
8. Wear appropriate hiking shoes that grip the trail.
9. Dress appropriately for the season (body temperature rises significantly when climbing a mountain).
10. Follow official trail markers (not unmarked paths).
Remember these tips: keep calm, stay dry, keep warm and stay put.
You can walk a little to find an open field (where it may be easier for an aircraft to spot you), or a spot with cellphone reception; otherwise stay put on or close to a marked trail. The further you wander, the longer it will take to find you.
Use your phone to call for help. Preserve phone battery. Keep conversations short. Use text messaging in poor reception areas.
Stuck overnight? Build a campfire to provide heat, light, comfort and smoke. If the weather is cold or wet, also build a small shelter using dead branches and leaves. Ration your food. Sing or otherwise try to stay calm and in good spirits. People will be looking for you soon.