One of my passion projects is leading the medical team of my local search and rescue organization. We routinely deploy to save people from tragedy, disaster, and sometimes their own stupidity. My purpose in writing this post is to help you keep yourself and your loved ones as safe as possible when you venture into the Great Outdoors.
Before your adventure, there are three things you must do before you even step foot out of the door:
1) Tell two unrelated people where you are going, and what time you are expected to be home.
By unrelated, I mean two people who care about you that are independent of each other (ie- your mom and your best friend, or your roommate and your brother). This ensures that if something were to happen to one of them, you have another person who is still on the lookout for your return.
2) Carry AT LEAST 2 liters of water per person.
I can’t stress the importance of hydrating while adventuring enough! Dehydration is serious and can be deadly. If the weather is hot or your activity strenuous, bring more! An additional tip: make sure that your water comes from at least two vessels. That way if something happens to one, you’ll have an additional source of water.
3) Wear sturdy footwear.
A common injury while adventuring is a rolled (or worse, broken) ankle. Wearing sturdy footwear is a measure you can take to help prevent those types of injuries. As a search and rescue technician, part of our uniform is a pair of boots that cover above the ankle, so this is something that you may want to consider (depending on the terrain you will encounter on your hike).
These three simple steps will help lay the foundation for keeping yourself and your loved ones safe on your next outdoor adventure. Have fun and be safe!