Lost And Injured: Change How You Think About Your Next Hike
National Geographic published an article that reminded me that being lost or stranded in the wilderness could happen to anyone. Surprisingly, it happen more often than we may think. NATGEO cited a study published my smokeymountains.com which revealed that thousands of search and rescue(SAR) missions are initiated each year in our National Parks. You don’t have to be in exotic uncharted lands to get lost or ‘misplaced’. Overall, the top reasons people got lost were: wandering off trail, weather, separated from group, injury, darkness and equipment failure. Day Hikers, those who only planned to be out for the day, were the subject of 42% of SAR missions. Read the study for more granular details but the takeaway is that being prepared for the unexpected may save your life.
I’m not trying to be an alarmist or overstate a marginal problem. Fact is, the vast majority of wilderness excursions don’t result an any issues at all. However, we should be aware that the possibility does exist, that accidents do happen and that sometimes people don’t survive these situations. A simple change in how we think and taking some precautionary measures can contribute greatly to survival should we find ourselves in unexpected situations.
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