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The Days Are Getting Longer

June! The days are getting longer and we are heading into summer. We know you are all likely feeling a little bit antsy to get out as BC Parks reopen. This is a time of year when people tend to get outdoors a little more. You are ready to climb mountains! We are here to encourage that, as well as the key safety considerations to prepare you for any hike. It is important to think of safety even on those hikes that feel simple and close to home.

The Fraser Valley has various Search and Rescue (SAR) teams, all volunteer operated. We’d like to take a second to recognize them:

Central Fraser Valley | Mission | Chilliwack | Hope | Kent Harrison | Ridge Meadows

Simple ways to support them include making financial contributions, but one key way is to reduce the risk of needing their services! Now of course, if you need them, please call them. But here are 10 basic tools you should have on every outing:

Pre-Trip steps to increase safety:

  1. Tell someone where you are going and when you anticipate being back home or in cell-reception. As an additional step, know if you will have cell reception where you are going.
  2. Know your route and plans, take the time to print and study a map. Know that technology can fail and trails can be different than they appear in photos.
  3. Don’t skimp on the gear below because it looks like a nice day. Things change quickly in the mountains and if you are going up a mountain or near water it can quickly cool off.

Items to carry:

  1. Light – even with the additional daylight, this is an easy item to carry that provides a huge benefit if things go wrong. We do not recommend relying on a cell phone flashlight
  2. Signalling device – bear bangers, pencil flare, or whistle
  3. Fire Starter – waterproof matches + a lighter, are a simple option
  4. An extra layer – for example lightweight waterproof jacket
  5. Pocketknife
  6. Shelter – such as a Bivvy or emergency blanket
  7. Water & Food – extra of each will make an extended outing much safer and more enjoyable
  8. First aid kit – simple 1-2 person first aid kits are light and easy to pack
  9. Navigation – only bring a compass if you know how to utilize it, otherwise pack a map in a plastic bag incase technology fails you
  10. Communications – if in reception a cell phone works great, other options include a Spot Device or an InReach

Other optional items that can be beneficial for safety and peace of mind this time of year might include: water purification tablets, bear spray, advil, benadryl and a hat for sun protection. All above items are in addition to being dressed in appropriate shoes and clothing.

Planning ahead and taking the time to consider the risks often leads to more enjoyable days and safe hikes. Also, extra snacks make for happier hikers! There are so many great local and BC based options to consider. As always, please pack out what you pack in, leaving the trails clean and beautiful for everyone to enjoy.

Take into account the overall distance, elevation gain and loss, and enjoy safely getting out onto the trails this summer!

Katrina and Jenny
Pacific Pine Running Co.
www.pacificpinerunningco.com

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