Emergency and Survival Preparedness in the Wild

Juan de Fuca Trail

For those of you who live in Victoria BC, where we have our showroom, you probably know just how popular hikes like the Juan de Fuca Trail and the West Coast Trail are! Especially during this milder time of year, people from all walks of life feel the urge to test their mettle and try walking along the wild, wet, west coast for a few days under the weight of a heavy backpack.

For those of you from other parts of BC, Canada, or abroad, I’m sure you have similar hikes nearby, and know exactly why they’re so popular…

A hike that spans a few days is the perfect way to test your endurance, get off the grid, and focus on good conversations—either by yourself or with the company of friends. It’s also a fitness goal to work towards and then achieve with that wonderful, victorious feeling in your heart.

But in order to enjoy yourself—and the beautiful nature surrounding you—to the fullest, you’ll need to be prepared. The most prepared will test out the weight of their backpack multiple times—on mini hikes—before heading off on the real deal.

 

And that’s just one way of getting prepared. Here are a few other tips:

  1. For every piece of gear you use, read all instructions and precautions before using. Remember to talk about your plans and concerns with the people selling the gear.
  2. If you borrow gear, talk to the owners about the pros, cons and precautions.
  3. Tell everyone that you’re going! Tell people when and where you’re going, and when you plan to arrive home. Make sure your closest friends or family, especially, are aware of your plans so that they can take action if you don’t arrive home on time.
  4. Make sure you bring enough water. If you’re going to be carrying all of your supplies on your back, for days, you’re not going to want to carry all that water. But do not fear. We have a variety of options, when it comes to water filtration systems. This way, you only need to carry a little water at a time.
  5. Wear a backpack that fits you well, and as mentioned earlier, test it out.
  6. Plan out your meals ahead of time and rely on freeze-dried meals as much as possible to keep your pack lighter.
  7. Write a checklist that includes all of your water, food, heat, shelter, first aid, sanitary, light and communications needs, so that you don’t miss anything! Remember, every gram of weight will feel like it exponentially increases the longer you hike! So give yourself a lot of time to consider what you REALLY need.
  8. Do your research! If there are orientations for the hike, go to them.
  9. Once again, talk to people about your plans. You’re more than likely to gather the most useful information this way, from people who have done something similar!

The more you prepare, the more fun you’ll have! And isn’t that the point of a getaway in the wilderness? So find a trustworthy comrade and begin the adventure of preparation! Chances are you’ll love the learning process too!

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