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  • Writer's picturebalzaccom

How to AVOID calling SAR

When you get in trouble in the backcountry, and really need help, it's the Search and Rescue team that will come to your aid. But if you want to avoid that embarrassing and sometimes needless exercise, here are a few tips to help out:

How to avoid making one of those SAR’s calls:

> Stay found. Take a map and know how to use it. Take a GPS and know how to use it.

> Stay on the trail. Yes, we hike off-trail. But if you want to be found, stay on the trail.

The best way to not get lost is to stay found. Check your progress against the map at every junction, steam crossing, or major landmark. That way you know where you are, where you've been, and where you want to go. If you don't know one of those three things, you are likely to get lost. Not a good plan.

> Stay out of the water. It kills people every year. Every year the National Park Service warns people about this. Every year people drown needlessly in National Parks. More people die in Yosemite by drowning than any other reason. Stay out of the water.

> Stay away from the edge. Seems obvious, but just like the water warnings, our parks are full of warnings about this. And every year people die by falling off cliffs.

> Stay away from wildlife. Yep. Same thing here. Don't be one of those idiots.

> Take the right gear. You’ve got your list of ten (we usually try to take about thirteen…)

Most importantly, take food and water, take the right clothes to be comfortable EVEN IF THE WEATHER CHANGES.

> Take a friend. Hiking with two people can solve a lot of problems that might otherwise be an emergency.

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