Public urged to plan ahead for outdoor trips

It's important to have the right tools for survival while out in the backcountry

  • Jan. 19, 2018 12:00 a.m.

If you’re thinking of going out in the backcountry for a snowmobiling or cross-country skiing trip, here’s a few things to keep in mind so the trip

ends unforgettable, not regrettable. Especially when recent weather conditions have risen the potential for avalanches and other sketchy situations.

“People should notify people of their intention other than the ones that may be partaking their activity with [them] – so there’s always a contact that would know they were due back by say, 4 p.m., and if they haven’t returned they can make a phone call – where they’re planning to go and following a trip plan,” said Cameron Jensen, vice president of the South Cariboo Search and Rescue Society.

A trip plan can be created using adventuresmart.ca/tripplanning. Jensen, along with a Jan. 10 news release from Mike Farmsworth, minister of public safety, said planning a trip ahead of time is a must and copies of the plans should be given to family and friends.

People looking for an adventure should always dress for the weather and bring extra layers, proper footwear and a shelter.

“Believe it or not, people are still driving vehicles with flip-flops on,” said Jensen, before suggesting other items people should bring with them to the backcountry. “Have food and water in the vehicle, have your vehicle filled up with fuel because you don’t know how long you are going to be sitting around for, even have a battery

charger.”

Spot devices, shovels, fire starter and avalanche beacons are also essential. Snowmobilers should carry avalanche airbags and float mountain pro vests to help keep them above the snow in case an avalanche does occur.

“It’s just being dressed for the weather, having the proper gear and proper technology for safety and using it. I’ve heard stories of “oh yeah, I left it in the truck,” well it’s no use in the truck when you’re stuck halfway up the mountain,” said Jensen.

If someone plans on being in the cold for a long time, knowing the signs of hyperthermia are very important. Symptoms include constant shivering, shallow breathing, confusion, poor decision making, and drowsiness.

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