Safety Tips

FOR YOUR SAFETY (safety quick list)


(Be familiar with your equipment and know how to use it.)

These few items carried in a small pack may be the means of survival
in the event one becomes lost or is injured. If lost and unable to
find a way out by map and compass, it may be better to improvise a
shelter and stay put until help is forthcoming. Remember, if one
travels five miles from the point last seen, searchers may have to
search more than 50,000 acres!


Do let someone responsible know the route you are taking, and your
expected time of return. If you later decide to move from one area
to another, advise that person. If you do not return in a reasonable
time, experienced searchers can find you quickly with this information.

General safety tips

  • Carry a map and compass (& know how to use them!)
  • Know where you are
    Pull out your map often and correlate prominent features; build a
    mental picture of the landscape. Don’t wait until you are lost to
    look at your map.
  • Watch the weather
  • Make camp obvious
    How easy will camp be to find in the dark? During a storm? Make
    camp near an obvious terrain feature like a stream, ravine, or the
    base of a ridge.
  • Know when to ride it out
    If weather conditions deteriorate, evaluate your situation. Move
    if you need to improve your position for safety; stay put if you don’t.
  • Fix your position on the map
    Pinpoint your current location on the map while you can still see,
    then act fast to get a compass bearing to where you want to go.
  • Plan “legs” around obstacles
  • Aim for easy to spot landmarks
    Rather than aim for the parking lot, head for the road leading to the
    parking lot, or the stream leading into the lake. If you drift off
    course in the storm you are more certain to find your landmark and be
    able to follow it to your ultimate destination.
  • Count your steps
    Measure your stride while carrying your pack. Then calculate the number
    of steps to travel the distance you are going. Keep track by moving pebbles
  • Find a “guide”
    Identify something that will confirm you are staying on track –
    “River always on my right” or “stream junction on left at next turn”.