BE PREPARED FOR YOUR CHOSEN RECREATION –
Being fit enough to go the distance takes physical preparation. Stick to your turnaround time. Take the proper equipment, have a trip plan, and use reference and guide books.

TRAIN YOURSELF TO SURVIVE –
Being fit enough is not enough if you panic and make poor decisions about what needs to be done in a particular situation. Learn the proper gear to take; know how to make emergency shelters, the right way to build a fire, how to prevent hypothermia, etc. TAKE A FIRST AID CLASS!  Contact a local SAR group to see if survival classes are available.

ALWAYS CARRY THE ESSENTIALS –
Be ready to stay out overnight. Carry enough food and water for at least one day, and bring some type of shelter material (tent or tarp) in a small pack.

COMPLETE A TRIP PLAN AND LEAVE IT WITH A RESPONSIBLE PERSON –
The trip plan shows your destination, route of travel, who is in the group, and your return time. Should you not return as planned, the friend can give the form to the police to initiate a search. If you change your trip plans be sure to let that person know. Leaving notes in your car is not recommended.

NEVER HIKE ALONE –
Hike with a group and keep together. Travel at the speed of the slowest person. Becoming separated by going ahead or falling behind makes it easier for someone to become lost. Plan your trip as a group and be prepared to turn around and return if conditions call for it.

STAY WHERE YOU ARE –
People who continue on after they become lost usually get further from the trail and further from people who are looking for them. Don’t go downhill as this may lead to natural drainage that can lead to more hazards. Stay away from gullies as they typically have very thick bush, expansive cliffs, and water that will make travel and searching more difficult.

USE SIGNALLING DEVICES –
Blowing a whistle, lighting a fire, and staying visible will help searchers find you. Help searchers find you even if you are embarrassed or afraid. Remember that animals will not be attracted to your signals. Searchers may also use planes or helicopters. Learn how to make yourself look large so you are more visible from the air.

BUILD OR SEEK SHELTER –
Protect yourself from the cold, rain, wind, and heat; however, when possible, try to make yourself visible to searchers in helicopters or planes.

THE MOST COMMON MISTAKE –
An individual’s belief that “it could never happen to me” is no more than ego. By being prepared, you can enjoy your trip outdoors regardless of what nature throws at you!

SHOULD YOU BECOME LOST OR INJURED –
Being prepared for an emergency in the wilderness takes planning, and skill. But even the most skilled will not survive if they panic. Once you realize that you are lost, or you cannot make it to your destination before dark, or perhaps an injury or the weather makes further travel too risky, STOP. Prepare shelter, build a fire, and remain where you are. You stand a better chance of being found alive if you remain calm and take care of yourself. Be attentive to others in your group. Keep together and talk to each other. Remember, if you left a trip plan with someone, people will be out looking for you very soon.