FOR YOUR SAFETY (safety quick list)
- GEAR TO FIND YOUR WAY
- GEAR FOR YOUR PROTECTION
- GEAR FOR EMERGENCIES
(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!
TELL A FRIEND
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”.