Wednesday, May 2, 2018

5 Lessons from This Morning's Rescue

On the news this morning, two hikers were rescued after becoming stranded in our local mountains over night.  Here are the lessons everyone can learn from this:

  1. Always check the weather before you head out and check it regularly when you are out in the mountains if possible.  It poured rain here yesterday and that always means problems, usually due to flash floods.  If you are in the desert and it is raining, has recently rained, or it is forecasted to rain in the near future, reconsider your outdoor plans.
  2. Always carry the gear you need to see you through an unexpected day or two in the wild even if you are going for a day hike.  These people didn't have much food or water, and no gear which tells me they weren't very well prepared.  Extra food, water, a tarp and some paracord, an emergency blanket, matches, etc.  All of the basics should ALWAYS be with you if you are out in the woods/wilderness for the day.
  3. Don't expect a fast rescue.  People think if they call for help, rescue will arrive within an hour or so.  This usually happens but not always, like last night when the weather and terrain precluded rescuers from arriving until this morning.
  4. Know the environment you are going into.  In this case, the desert require a lot more water than people usually carry (we get hikers from all over the world, not many of which are very experienced with hiking in the desert).  If they had planned to rock climb (a very popular activity in the Red Rock area) they may not have known the rocks are made of sandstone (great for climbing when it is hot outside, very crumbly when it is wet).
  5. Always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back.  Phone service is iffy in Red Rock Canyon, sometimes you get a clear signal, other times no signal at all.  At least if you don't return when expected, people will know when and where to start looking for you.

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