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Enjoy the Outdoors Safely

A list of essentials presented as a public Service by SCSAR
(Winter Essentials for Searchers are here)

The basic minimum essentials to help keep you out of trouble:

  • Appropriate boots and clothing for expected weather conditions

  • A Full Water Bottle or Canteen

  • A Compass & Topographic Maps

Things to pack in your day pack:

  • Rain Gear

  • Small Mirror (to flash to rescue aircraft) and a Whistle

  • Knife/Multi-Purpose Tool

  • Toilet Paper (seal in zip-lock bag)

  • Emergency Food

  • Matches/Lighter (seal in zip-lock bag)

  • Fire Starters (seal in zip-lock bag)

  • Flashlight/Headlamp & Extra Batteries & Bulb

  • Emergency Blanket (space blanket)

  • Change of Socks

  • Two Plastic Grocery Bags and a Garbage Bag (Use the grocery bags over dry socks if your feet get wet and the garbage bag as an extra layer of insulation by cutting arm and head holes)

  • Duct tape (wrapped around a pencil or flashlight)

Prior to your trip, before trouble finds you

  • Make sure you have the basic minimum essentials.

  • Check the weather forecast & assume it's wrong.

  • Know where you’re going & how long it will take.

  • Tell someone where you’re going & when you'll be back.

  • Sign the trail register both in & out.

  • Take a compass reading to know which way is out.

  • Know where you are at all times. Use your map & compass.

  • Know when to head back. Check the time & turn around when the time spent going in is half the time you planned for the complete trip.
     

If you have an emergency:

  • Stay calm! Evaluate the situation, take appropriate action.

  • What's wrong? Am I in danger of further harm? Is the situation life threatening? Should I move to a safer place?

  • Am I or someone else hurt, ill, dehydrated, wet, cold or hot? Administer First Aid, re-hydrate, change cloths, seek shelter, re-warm or cool.

  • Where am I? Determine your exact location. If you know how to get back safely, return to civilization.

  • I'm lost. Stay put, stay dry, make yourself visible, set up shelter, get water & fire wood, listen for rescuers & respond with three blasts on your whistle.

  • Do I need help? Can I or someone else go for help? If yes; be sure the messenger knows how to get out, the exact location of those in need & their condition. If not, complete the activities in step 5. If you have a cellular phone and your situation is a real EMERGENCY, not just a personal inconvenience, you can try to call for help, but cellular phones do not work in many areas and you must be able to tell authorities exactly where you are so you can be found quickly.

  • Make sure anyone left behind is safe & secure.

       

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