Three Tips for Successful Adventures
The weather has changed, the colours have flooded back to our beautiful province and more and more adventurers are heading into our landscape to enjoy what British Columbia has to offer. From the lush green forests to the crystal-clear lakes and rivers, the West Coast has so much to enjoy! Before you dust off your hiking poles, clear the cobwebs off your favourite pair of trail shoes or blow up your dinghies, however, we encourage you to think twice before acting once.
It isn’t a secret that the calls for assistance placed to provincial Search and Rescue teams have increased throughout the years, so we have some AdventureSmart tips to share to help prepare you (and your travel party) for your outing. The three keys to successful adventures are to: make a Trip Plan, train for your activity (and know your and the group’s limitations) and take along the essentials for the activity.
Trip Plan: The Who, What, When, Where, Why and How for your trip. There are a number of online trip planning tools and forms that can be used, and leaving the plan with someone at home who understands it, and can act appropriately in the event something goes wrong, is vital.
Train for your activity: If you haven’t swum in moving water before, will you be barreling down the Colorado River for your first time? If you haven’t experienced mountainous terrains are you going to be climbing Mt. Everest? Adventurers work up to these activities, practice, and understand their body’s limitations and how they react to stressors. Think about the activities you are interested in, start inside your comfort zone and move up as you increase both your knowledge and experience.
Take the Essentials: It goes without saying that taking some essential gear with us can be the difference between life and death. The basic list includes: flashlight, fire making kit, signaling device (i.e. whistle), extra food and water, extra clothing, navigational/communication devices, first aid kit, emergency blanket/shelter, pocket knife, and sun protection. We all pack some of these to some degree, and not everything is required every time, but planning ahead helps mitigate risks and could shorten the length of time it takes for rescuers to reach you in an emergency. PS: Gear is sorta our thing… ask any rescuer about their gear and watch their face light up.
Locally, Chilliwack Search and Rescue offers AdventureSmart presentations to all ages on outdoor safety and preparedness and what to do in an emergency situation. If you are in a group that would be interested in a presentation or know someone who might be, we can be reached at AdventureSmart@chilliwackSAR.org . More information on AdventureSmart can be found at www.adventuresmart.ca and, YES, there is an APP for that! Search for the new AdventureSmart app from your favourite app store!
Special thanks to CSAR Member and AdventureSmart coordinator (and presenter!) Matt for putting together these reminders!