Despite ongoing warnings to backcountry users to be careful and carry appropriate gear, rescue services are being pushed to their limits in B.C.
The Revelstoke RCMP have now issued a press release directed at backcountry users to be better prepared.
Thee five steps to being safer in the backcountry include:
First, have a travel plan.
Second, notify people of where you are headed to and when you plan to return.
Third, bring extra food, water, clothing and fire making supplies – be prepared to spend the night.
Four, stay in bounds at the ski hill and know the terrain on sled recreation areas. Know if you have the ability to ride in those areas.
Five, use mapping GPS features (waypoints). A SPOT or INREACH type device is valuable for updating others, emergencies and unforeseen delays.
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“It is reasonable,” Grabinsky’s press release states, “to travel with knowledgeable persons (guides). The AST level 1 course should be a minimum for those in the backcountry, as well as a beacon, shovel and probe. Radio communications between travellers can reduce lost persons.”
Grabinsky said that the Revelstoke Search and Rescue (SAR) team are all highly skilled volunteers.
“Recent social media posts have failed to mention the volunteer aspect of SAR in relations to the missing persons. It is the responsibility of the individual to protect themselves when in the backcountry, and SAR will assist when called and when resources are available.
“Recently it is the sheer volume of calls for SAR that results in greater risk for these volunteers. Skiers, snowboarders and sledders can take action to reduce being stranded in the backcountry.”
For further information about the Revelstoke Search and Rescue, please see https://www.revsar.ca/