Mountain Safety Tips
Despite the mountains’ proximity to civilization and the helpful signs posted at many trail-heads, visitors shouldn’t be fooled – this really is the wilderness. Even seasoned hikers and bikers injure themselves or get lost here on a regular basis. No matter how short, casual and sunny you think your trek will be, whether you’re biking or hiking, a few safety rules should always be observed.
So before setting out, mountain bikers in particular need to be aware of just how tricky their chosen trails may be. Their best source of information is the local bike shops, which are staffed by knowledgeable enthusiasts who can provide maps, tips and advice. Check out the telephone book’s yellow pages under Bicycle Dealers for a comprehensive listing of bike shops, but in West Vancouver, try Different Bikes (604-925-2453), and in North Vancouver try On Top Bike Shop (604-990-9550) or John Henry Bikes (604-986-5534). Helmets and proper gear are a necessity.
No matter how short, casual and sunny you think your trek will be, always remember these basic safety rules:
- Never hike alone.
- Have a trip plan that takes into consideration your own physical limitations.
- Before you depart, leave a message with a friend or another responsible party as to your route, companions, and expected return time. They can alert the police if you do not arrive as expected.
Before you head out, read about what you can do to avoid getting lost at www.northshorerescue.com.
Pack These 10 Essential Safety Items
Be sure to wear appropriate footwear, and pack these 10 essentials:
- Water (gatorade crystals recommended) and food (high energy food bars)
- Signalling Device (whistle or pencil flare)
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Fire-starter or candle or lighter
- Extra clothes
- First-aid kit
- Communications – Cell phone