Staying Not Lost
Seeing that soccer team and its coach finally found after being lost for 10 days reminded me that staying found is very important. True, they were in a cave and the searchers knew their whereabouts to some extent, but I wonder if hiking safety was even given a thought when they entered the cave. Teach your children (or children like adult hiking companions) some simple rules to be ‘staying found’ and help them develop some good old-fashioned common sense. Here are a few thoughts on that subject.
- Never hike alone. This goes for adults as well as children. You never know when you may need someone to administer first-aid, go for help or to out-run in case a bear shows up. Use the buddy system if hiking as a family. Some teenagers think they know what’s up and may strike out on their own if younger siblings linger longer than they ought.
- Older children should be encouraged to help plan the hike. This will give them an idea as to where you will be going and how long the hike may take.
- Every hiker should have in their possession a whistle to be used only in case of emergency or failure to locate the family group. The universal signal (distress call) is three short “tweets” which will carry farther than the human voice. Repeat the trio of three louds blasts until help arrives. Searchers can return a whistle blast to tell the ‘not found’ that help is on the way.
- Stop walking the minute you know you are not found and STAY PUT. Sit down, stay calm and think about when last seeing the family (group) and then start the whistle blowing procedure.
Keep your fork