July 2011 Tip of the Month

Check Out and Check Back in for Safety

The snow pack in elevations above 10,000 feet is higher than normal. Cornices and deep snow increases the occurrence of avalanches. Summer trails are not visible in some locations. Hikers without maps are losing their way and often not prepared for conditions (colder temperatures, snow and ice, water and mud). At lower elevations, the melting snow is producing high water crossings and the potential for flooding.

Letting someone know where you are headed and when to expect you back is extremely important.

Have you ever seen a news report about a lost hiker? Something along the lines of, "Hiker is reported lost after three days of missing work." Devastating incidents like this happen much too often. If search and rescue agencies are notified of a missing hiker within hours instead of days the probability of a positive outcome increases dramatically.

It is always a good idea to follow the same CHECK-OUT and CHECK-IN procedures our forest personnel follow.

Before your outing begins, tell someone where you are going, the route you are using, vehicle description, who is going with you, the color of clothes you are wearing, when you expect to return and who to call if you do not return. They will need the phone number for the Sheriff's Department of the county in which you are traveling.

When you come back from your hike, be sure notify this person of your safe return or search and rescue could be initiated unnecessarily.

 Avoid being a casualty on the evening news. Follow the simple CHECK-OUT and CHECK-IN procedure to help ensure your safety.

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