We have talked about getting you outdoors. One of the first and most important steps is determining that going outdoors isn’t going to hurt you. Safety First will explain to you one of the most important lessons I have learned.
It is a good deal to have a back-up plan, someone who knows when you left, where you are headed and when to expect you back.
You want to get outdoors. Where are you going? A state campground? Local hiking trails? The river you used to camp at, as a child? Another state with outdoor savvy friends? Fishing with a new boyfriend? The wild places that you live near?
Where are you going to “practice”?
Are there trails? Will there be other people with you?
I don’t want you heading out into the wilderness, alone and unprepared!
So, where are you going, into the outdoors?
Even if it is only your back yard, the lands and forests your farmland intersects or a park or campground in your town, you need to have someone you can “check-in with.
Mastering a new skill, on your own, is quite the accomplishment. It can also be very easily, become dangerous.
Always remember to stay safe. You can’t keep anyone else safe or even help them, if you don’t keep yourself safe. Stay smart.
Six Steps to Safety First
This is why it is very smart to have someone reliable, that you can “check-in” with (even if it takes a long distance call) when you leave and (remember this part) return.
The reason for this, is so that if a mishap or accident were to happen, help would come.
This is simply smart. And easy.
Maybe you just want to skip this part. Maybe you are thinking, “My Aunt in Michigan isn’t going to fly/drive this far and rescue me from a forest in Southern California.” No, you are right.
However, she can and will call your family, your friend, your local police department or fire department, sheriff, neighbor; someone else that CAN be called on for an emergency rescue.
That is what happens after a mishap or accident in the wilderness without anyone knowing where you are, when you left, where you were headed or when you are due back; it turns into an emergency.
Ok! Got it. “Check-in” person.
Six Steps to Safety First
Things to tell your “check-in” person:
- Where you will start. Where you will park, what direction, path or trail you will follow.
- Where you are headed, if you know.
- When to expect you back. Whether it is 6pm tonight or by dark on “Sunday.”
- When is “too long over-due.” Give yourself time for traffic, sore muscles, “just one more picture.” 1-2-3 hours after your deadline or by full dark.
- Deadline is deadline. If you haven’t checked in by your expected time, your grace period begins. For those delays you can’t plan for. Once that period of time has passed, time is up.
- Make the call. Your “check-in” person should be given the numbers and names of who to call, to send help.
Are there trails? Are you familiar with the area? Will you need a map? Will you need to use a map, compass or GPS? ~ We do not want you getting lost! These are simply things to think about.
As a professional wilderness and big game guide I am in the field six months out of the year. Back and forth, wandering here or there, leading people to their dreams or just out for myself riding and breathing the air and renewing my own spirit.
The one thing that is done, without fail, is always have a “check-in” person. A person who knows what direction I was going to head, why and for how long… even if it is unknown.
Gasp! Unknown?! (You may be thinking…)
Yes, unknown. Maybe I’ll only be out on Thunder for an hour or two. Maybe something will catch my eye and we will follow where ever it leads and I may not be back until late. I am coming back. I will check in.
So now what? When does someone begin to worry or wonder?
First, as the day light in Alaska during the summer never ends, time can and will slip away. If I don’t wake you with a very late night call or shake with an apology for loosing track of time, that is when you can worry. That is when you make the call.
They do. But here at Pioneer Outfitters, we are trained for wilderness survival, we are trained and experienced and above all else, we know help is coming. It is a comfort to know, that you can count on someone coming. We always, without fail practice the “check-in.”
Even out in the wilderness guiding, if the check-in isn’t made, the other guides will be sent to help, the Boss will be in the air, flying, searching, directing the ground party to you.
The advantage that Pioneer Outfitters offers its guests is the experience and training of its guides. The professional, licensed guides that lead the way on every Adventure and Excursion are there to enhance your experience with knowledge and companionship while ensuring your safety.
If you want to aim for something outstanding and way off the beaten path, consider Pioneer Outfitters Adventures or Excursions. The incredible feeling that Chisana pours into you, the renewal that takes place as everything else fades as you ride through the wilderness, may be just the thing you are looking for.
Wednesday Women: Women in the Outdoors series.