Chances Are You Will Never Need To Be Rescued! But What If You Do
Camping and any activity in the outdoors involved a degree of risk, thats pretty much why we want to be out there in the first place because it beats sitting at home wrapped in cotton wool letting life pass us by. So what can we do to lessen this risk and make our time in the wilderness enjoyable rather than dangerous, bearing in mind that "sh%% just happens" sometimes it always smart to be a little prepared. Generally carrying a decent first aid/emergency/survival kit is an excellent start and having some knowledge of what we are about is also a great idea. Its when we get down to actually emergency situations however that having some expert knowledge comes in handy and an ex SERE Air Officer by the name of Ali Alami has some great tips on getting rescued, signalling and communication in the wilderness so here are five of his best, there are plenty more available on FitClimb a blog that Ali writes for.
Calling for help or getting rescued in the wilderness is not something most of us want to do, but spend enough time outdoors and chances are you’ll experience some type of emergency. When it comes to using your cell phone and getting rescued, here are10 tips you can follow that will help rescuers find you quickly, assist them, and get you out safely. A quick rescue increases the odds of survival and can reduce exposure to rescue parties. Communication and signaling play an important role in efficient wilderness rescues. Here are some things to consider: 1. Notifying someone of your plan is important. Before you leave for your trip let someone reliable know your expected return time, trail or route, destination, car type and plate number, basic gear you’ll have, your cell phone number & carrier, and other partners names and information. In some cases you can also describe your tent and jacket color, and list supplies. 2. Although some places might not have cell coverage in the wilderness, coverage is increasing and in many wilderness emergencies cell phones are the most common way of initiating rescue for climbers and hikers. You should turn off your cell phone or radio (if you have one) to conserve batteries till your ready to use it. In cold environments try and keep your communication device close to your body to keep it warm and conserve battery life (between layers of clothing). Most new phones automatically fix your location when you make an emergency call, this isn’t always guaranteed and you can take a few steps to help. 3. To signal others material to use can be natural (sticks, rocks, dirt, shadows), man made (clothing, packs, tents, space blankets), or both. The important thing to remember is to follow the “CLASS” principle for ground to Air signals. 4. Fire signals are one of the best methods for signaling rescue. The two main issues are causing forest fires and the time window between getting the fire to produce enough smoke to be seen and aircraft passing. Care must be taken to clear surrounding vegetation and prepare the ground for a fire. 5. Noise can also be a signal, carrying a whistle is a good signaling tool that can be heard for several miles, the universal distress signal is 3 bursts, think consecutive signals of 3 (4-5 second blows), 3 shots, or 3 bangs with a stick on a tree. Occasionally yelling out “help” especially in areas that carry sound also works. If sunny you can use reflection to signal rescue.Alami goes into much more detail in his article and I truly recommend reading it fully and better yet actually learning from it, doing so might one day save your hide in an emergency situation and that's what its all about