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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Northern Health moves reefer unit to Mills Memorial

The move is not related to COVID-19

RDKS developing strategy to bring higher internet speeds to remote areas

Results of public survey will help ISPs build business case for funding

UPDATE: Man drowns crossing Skeena River

59-year old Prince Rupert victim pronounced dead at Mills Memorial

Donations flow into Mills Memorial Hospital

Community responds to request for equipment, supplies

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Feds amplify stay-home message as cost of financial aid to Canadians mounts

Liberals have unveiled around $200B in direct financial aid and tax deferrals

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

World COVID-19 update: Six million U.S. jobless claims; Russia sends medical aid to U.S.

Comprehensive update with COVID-19 news from around the world

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

Most Read