The Lady and I spend a great deal of time in the backcountry. We believe in the 10 essentials. From our many years doing winter Mountain SAR on skis, we have spent so many "unplanned" nights out in tough conditions. We carry extra gear to help ourselves and to help others. All the time we are asked by fellow hikers about our packs - how many nights you out for? You training for something?
Now, when asked, we have started politely handing out this page. Please consider doing the same. An once of prevention is worth a pound of cure and picking up the pieces afterward is no fun at all. Note, we borrowed this from another source.
HIKERS RESPONSIBILITY CODE
- Become self-reliant by learning about the terrain, conditions, local weather and your equipment before your start. Set realistic goals based on your experience, not someone else's.
- Tell someone where you are going, the trails your are hiking, when you will return, and your emergency plans. Be sure this person knows who to call when you fail to return on time.
- When you start as a group, hike as a group and end as a group. Pace your trip to the slowest person.
- Weather changes quickly in the mountains. Fatigue and unexpected conditions can also affect your hike. Know your limitations and when to postpone your hike. The mountains will be there another day.
- Even if you are headed our just an hour, an injury, severe weather, or a wrong turn could become life threatening. Don't assume you will be rescued; know how to rescue yourself. Be ready for an unplanned night out.
- The International Distress Signal is THREE of anything, ie., three flashes of light, three whistle blasts, three lines tromped out in snow, etc.
- Share this code with everyone.