Backcountry recreation enthusiasts are reminded to be prepared heading out, especially with the potential for more snow and cold temperatures for the southern Interior this weekend. (Black Press file photo)

Preparation key for backcountry outings

Snowpack levels “complex” in many B.C. backcountry recreation areas

A series of winter storms since the start of the year have created a complex snowpack in many of British Columbia’s backcountry recreation areas.

There is considerable risk of natural and human-caused avalanches, and search-and-rescue teams have responded to more than 160 incidents since Jan. 1.

Environment Canada is tracking a storm that could potentially bring snow to the South Coast and the southern Interior this weekend, followed by a sharp decrease in temperature that will affect much of the province.

Anyone exploring the trails, mountains and backcountry areas of British Columbia must be prepared to take care of themselves and their companions with suitable equipment, first-aid supplies and an awareness of the risks.

Outdoor enthusiasts are urged to exercise caution and follow these important safety tips:

  • Never travel alone.
  • Planning ahead is a must. Before heading outdoors, leave a trip plan with family or friends and stick to that plan. For a printable copy, please visit: www.adventuresmart.ca/tripplanning/planning.htm
  • Be prepared for the elements with the essentials – such as extra water, layers of clothing, a shelter and something to start a fire with for warmth overnight: www.adventuresmart.ca/land/survive-essentials.htm
  • Carry a signaling device (such as a whistle) so that searchers can find you even if they cannot see you, as well as communication and navigation devices, such as a fully charged cellphone, compass and/or GPS unit.
  • Do not venture out of bounds or away from marked trails.
  • Be aware of how far you have gone, and when you need to turn back to avoid hiking in the dark. Be aware of the time the sun sets, and always carry a flashlight just in case.
  • If you become lost, do not keep moving. Stay put and wait for help. Do not presume by moving downhill that you will get back on track. This can lead you into dangerous terrain.
  • Take conditions into account and plan appropriately. Err on the side of caution. Learn more about avalanche safety and risks, and get the most recent bulletin and weather forecast at: www.avalanche.ca and www.avalanche.ca/weather
  • * Everyone who takes part in a backcountry outing needs avalanche training with proper equipment, including a shovel, a probe and a transceiver. More information on training and safety equipment is available online: www.avalanche.ca
  • * For real-time, specific information on local conditions, visit the Mountain Information Network: https://www.avalanche.ca/mountain-information-network

Staying Warm:

Avoid hypothermia by remembering the acronym COLD:

  • Cover: wear a scarf, hat or toque, mittens or gloves and even a balaclava if necessary.
  • Overexertion: avoid activities that will make you sweat a lot. The combination of wet clothing and cold weather can cause you to lose body heat more quickly.
  • Layers: wear loose-fitting, layered, lightweight clothing. Wool or silk are great choices. Outer clothing made of tightly woven, water-repellent material is best to protect against the wind.
  • Dry: remove wet clothing as soon as possible. Be especially careful to keep your hands and feet dry, as snow easily gets into mittens and boots.
  • You should also know the signs of hypothermia. They include constant shivering, confusion, poor decision-making (such as trying to remove warm clothes), drowsiness and shallow breathing. More information is available from the Canadian Red Cross: http://ow.ly/W7gK307cqCW.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com
.


@VernonNews
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Lawn bowlers kick off Langley season

The bowlers welcomed new members and civic officials.

Letter: Shrink dependence on fossil fuels, not expand

A Langley letter writer is critical of MLA Rich Coleman’s position on Kinder Morgan.

Langley City’s van den Broek will run for mayor

The mayoral race in Langley City is officially underway.

VIDEO: Volunteers wanted in Langley

A volunteer fair is rounding up recruits for worthy local causes.

WATCH: Langley’s Hunter Park comes back to life

After a tree disease decimated the park, a new planting effort was held Saturday.

VIDEO: Largest LEGO exhibition in British Columbia held at River Rock Casino

Hundreds of builders come from around the world to display their LEGO creations

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Downtown roads closed for Vancouver Sun Run

Thousands of runners participate in the annual event

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

B.C. VIEWS: Eliminating efficiency for farm workers

Don’t worry, NDP says, the B.C. economy’s booming

Hockey for Humboldt charity game Friday

Event in Maple Ridge will benefit bus tragedy victims

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

B.C. parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

Most Read