Canada's third largest province is British Columbia. It is also considered to be one of the most scenic and draws thousands of tourists into the outdoors. British Columbia has a beauty that can rarely be found, which is only enhanced by its diverse geography and easy accessibility. This enhanced recreational opportunity has lead to this province having more Search & Rescue incidents than the rest of Canada Combined. Everyone who enjoys British Columbia's magnificent environment must take precautions and be prepared.
Before venturing into our beautiful country you should ask yourself a few questions.
What precautions should I take?
Never go out alone
Ensure your level of physical fitness can meet the demands of your proposed activity.
Take the proper equipment and ensure it is in good repair.
Dress in layers and be ready for predicted and unpredicted weather conditions.
Use guide books where available
Use our trip plan. Fill it out in detail and leave it with a person you trust with instructions to call the police if you do not return on time.
Obey all posted safety signs.
Carry medications and be prepared to treat injuries and food allergies.
Always set and stick to turn around times. Adjust your pace to the slowest person in the group. Stick together at all times. A person traveling ahead is more likely to become lost.
Carry essential emergency items.
What should I pack?
Some items that you should always include are:
Extra Food and Water
Extra Clothing (Rain, Wind, Water Protection)
Navigational Aids (Maps, Compass, GPS)
Communications Aids (Radio, Cell Phone)
First Aid Kit
Sun Protection (Glasses, Sunscreen, Hat)
A large orange garbage bag. (Emergency Shelter, Signal Device)
Lighter & Candle
What if I do get lost?
When you realize that you are lost in the wilderness STOP
Stop - Find a safe location and stay there. It is much easier for searchers to find you when you are stationary.
Think - You will need food water and shelter to survive the night.
Observe - Look around. Is there fire wood, water, and shelter nearby?
Plan - It is very important to conserve your energy. Make sure that you regulate your bodies temperature and take lots of breaks.
Help searchers find you, even if you are embarrassed or afraid. Make signals - use your whistle, light a fire or display an orange garbage bag. Remember that animals will not be attracted to your signals. During the daylight, stay in the open. At night, build or find shelter.