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How to avoid the need to be rescued while hiking in the South Thompson

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March 29, 2017 - 8:00 PM

KAMLOOPS - Ski season may be coming to an end soon in Kamloops, but springtime weather doesn't mitigate the risks of heading into the backcountry.

This past weekend, Kamloops Search and Rescue responded to a hiker who suffered minor injuries while hiking with friends in the Cinnamon Ridge area of Kamloops.

KSAR search manager Alan Hobler says the hiker may have underestimated the terrain he was about to step into.

"He was hiking in an off trail area so he was doing his own route finding and put himself into a dangerous location," Hobler said. "It was a case of making the wrong choices and underestimating the skill and terrain."

With hiking season just beginning in Kamloops, Hobler says it's crucial for hikers of every experience level to be prepared and know their route before they head out on a trail.

He says the AdventureSmart website offers a list of tips to keep yourself safe and prepared on a trail, including checking the weather before you leave, being prepared for changes in weather, bringing extra food and clothing in case of an unexpected overnight stay and to be bear and cougar aware.

Hobler advises people to communicate their trip plan, even if it's for an hour or two, to a trusted person who will call for help if you have not contacted them by a certain time.

"We always emphasize that people should be prepared and have the appropriate equipment," Hobler says. "An hour or two can turn into much longer so be prepared for something unexpected."

Hobler says he has seen people on trails who are in fairweather clothing which can sometimes include flip flops.

He says much of the public would like to see rescue subjects who intentionally went off trail or out of bounds fined or charged when search and rescue crews are called to extract them, it could be a dangerous practice to put in place.

If someone is lost or in need of assistance, and they believe they could be charged for being rescued, he says they may not call for help. He compares it to if the fire department started charging people when responding to calls for service.


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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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