Hiking safety tips
As a passionate outdoor enthusiast I have been touched by the many lives that have been lost in Whistler, Squamish and North Shore Mountains.
Many of these mistakes can be avoided if we take the time to get informed prior to venturing out.
This video is dedicated to those who sadly lost their lives doing what they loved…
It was created with the intent to inform and hopefully prevent the avoidable.
Some of the information included in the video was referenced from North Shore and Squamish Search and Rescue websites.
It covers all the essentials, however there’s some key things to add:
Choose good waterproof backpack.
Proper clothing to keep you warm (fleece and puffy jacket). Polypro base layer (shirt and underwear). Gortex jacket and over pants will provide rain and wind protection. Key – layering and breathability.
Wear proper hiking boots, NOT runners, good quality hiking socks, bring extra pair.
Don’t wear brand new boots, ensure to break them in prior to your hike.
Plan you trip. Know the trail and complexity of the hike, distance, duration and elevation level.
Underestimating the time to complete the hike is the most common reason for getting lost.
Once it gets dark, the chances of getting lost are greater.
Carry green cyalume light sticks.
Navigation – carry compass and map, know how to use them. Fully charged GPS only as an addition. (Garmin 60 series recommended)
Know how to use GPS, but don’t overly rely on it. Using GPS requires practice and may not be helpful in certain types of terrain.
Signalling mirror can be spotted from a rescue helicopter over a five mile distance.
Fox 40 whistle works really well in wet conditions and has a good range.
Sun protection, sunscreen, sunglasses, hat. Snow intensifies the UV rays.
Ozone layer is actually at it’s thinnest in the winter.
Bright snowfields, can lead to snow blindness.
Wearing sunscreen on exposed skin, will keep you protected from damaging UV rays.
SPF at least 30 to avoid the windburn and sunburn.
Be prepared and don’t panic if you get lost. Stay where you are. Build a fire and make shelter. Use signalling device. Make sure you are visible from the air… Help will come.
Mental toughness and positive attitude drives the survival instinct.
Rapidly changing weather conditions, early darkness and injury due to slipping/falling can put your life in danger!
By taking extra time to get informed can make a difference between a catastrophe or a great, unforgettable experience.
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