B.C. AdventureSmart wants people to be prepared before starting your winter adventure. (diapicard/Pixabay)

B.C. AdventureSmart wants people to be prepared before starting your winter adventure. (diapicard/Pixabay)

AdventureSmart cautions would-be explorers to be well prepared for the winter

The organization is providing a list of tips and guidelines to help people stay safe this winter

Hikers, campers, and lovers of the great outdoors— are you prepared to be “adventure smart”? B.C. AdventureSmart wants people to keep these tips in mind before starting their winter adventure.

With winter officially being heralded in by the recent snow, enthusiasts may be excited to grab their seasonal gear and start exploring the outdoors.

However, Sandra Riches, the executive director of AdventureSmart, cautions people to be well prepared before taking off on their wilderness trek.

“The whole idea is that we have these best outdoor wise practices, so that people have great habits [for the wilderness],” says Riches.

“We’re trying to create behavioral change or introduce new, really safe techniques so that people can follow what we call our three Ts which is really the trifecta of outdoor safety. And that’s trip planning, training, and taking the essentials and we focus all of our programs on our messages and our webinars and everything that we do around those three Ts.”

Trip planning involves planning a travel route, checking the weather for the duration of the trip, and filling out a detailed trip plan and leaving that with an emergency contact — who can then share that information with police and SAR.

An AdventureSmart app is also available to help make trip planning easier.

Training involves gaining knowledge or skills necessary for staying outdoors. This includes getting any certification such as training for bushcraft, first aid, avalanche skills, emergency search and rescue, or any form of wilderness survival training.

Taking the essentials is simply that. Taking the essential items, specific for each season, necessary to ensuring safety and survival.

”There’s a list of basics…which are all listed adventure sport.ca,” says Riches. “[On the list] we’ve got a light source, a fire making kit, signalling device, and a whistle. Extra food and water, extra clothes, navigation and communication aids, first-aid kits, currency, shelter and sun protection.

“And then you need to be season specific [with your essentials]. And don’t forget those personal things like needing your medication, or glasses, or your favourite chocolate — whatever is essential for you.”

By being “adventure smart,” Riches says it helps to reduce incidents in the wild and increases the safety of not only outdoor adventurers but also of SAR volunteers. There are 78 SAR groups throughout B.C. with one of them being the Hope Search and Rescue (Hope SAR).

The SAR groups currently have over 3,000 members who, according to the BC Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA) website, are “hard working professional volunteers, and trained, members-in-training, and resources volunteers who donate hundreds of hours of training in order to search for and rescue hundreds of subjects each and every year.”

AdventureSmart is a “is a national program dedicated to encouraging Canadians and visitors to Canada to ‘Get informed and go outdoors’.” It combines key safety messages with an individual’s responsibility for safety and encourages the public to gain the “knowledge, skills and equipment necessary for them to enjoy their outdoor pursuits.”

By following their guidelines, AdventureSmart hopes to help outdoor enthusiasts make informed decisions to help them lessen “the frequency, severity and duration of search and rescue (SAR) incidents.”

To learn more about AdventureSmart, their recommended advice and guidelines for each season, as well accessing their upcoming webinars, go to www.adventuresmart.ca.


@KemoneMoodley
kemone.moodley@hopestandard.com

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