How to avoid getting lost!

Ways To Avoid Becoming Lost and What To Do If You Do Become Lost

If you get lost today, will anyone know? Are you prepared?

Leave A Message With A Friend
A note, left with a responsible person, explains your destination, the route (or runs) you are taking, who is with you, and your return time. If you do not return as planned, this person can give the accurate information to the police.

Always Carry The 10 Essentials
Be ready to stay out overnight in a survival situation. It is quite likely that you may not be reported missing for many hours. Carry extra clothing, survival gear, and be mentally prepared to endure the night out.

Never Hike Alone
Hike with a group and keep together. If a person becomes separated by going ahead or falling behind they are more likely to become lost.

Be Prepared For Your Chosen Hike
Hiking requires physical preparation. Be physically fit to enjoy your activities. Stick to a turn around time, and leave enough time to get home without causing people to worry about you. Take the proper equipment and have a trip plan – even if you will be hiking for only a few hours on a local mountain.

Do Not Panic
Maintain a positive mental attitude if you become lost. Being lost is not dangerous if you are prepared.
Stay Where You Are. People who go on, after becoming lost, usually get further from the trail and further from people who are looking for them. Help will come.

Do Not Go “Downhill”
Going downhill often leads to dangerous natural drainages. These drainages have the common features of very thick bush, steep cliffs, and waterfalls.

Use Signaling Devices
Blowing a whistle, lighting a fire, and staying visible will help searchers find you. Help people trying to find you, even if you feel embarrassed or afraid. Remember that animals will not be attracted to your signals.

Build or Seek Shelter
Protect yourself from the elements. Be as comfortable as possible but when it is light make sure you are visible from the air and visible to searchers in helicopters or planes.

It Could Happen To YOU
Bad weather, early darkness or an unexpected injury can turn an easy hike into an extended crisis. IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU! By being prepared you will enjoy your trip in the backcountry regardless of what nature throws at you

10 Essential Items

When you head out on your next adventure, make sure that you have the following 10 items in your pack. You never know when things can go wrong and these items will help ensure a positive outcome:

  1. Navigation (map & compass)
  2. Sun protection (sunglasses & sunscreen)
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
  5. First-aid supplies
  6. Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candle)
  7. Repair kit and tools
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter (tent/plastic tube tent/garbage bag)
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Community Education Initiatives:

This website was created as part of COSAR’s commitment to education. As a consequence of the expanding population of the central Okanagan region, one of Canada’s fastest growing communities, as well as the increasing popularity of wilderness recreation, it is very likely that COSAR’s workload will continue to increase over time. In an attempt to reduce these incidents the team places emphasis on public education. Team members volunteer their time to provide talks to schools, hiking clubs, church and other community groups, staff booths at outdoor shows, and so forth.

If you would like COSAR to give a talk for your group, send us a message and we’ll try our best to help.