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

Parksville seniors getting stronger with age

Weightlifting couple qualify to compete at Worlds Masters in Montreal in August

Camera captures cougar lurking in Parksville’s Foster Park neighbourhood

Resident shared photo to alert others to big cat’s presence

RDN tipping fees set to go up in July

The Regional District of Nanaimo is set to increase tipping fees at… Continue reading

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Horvat scores 16 seconds into OT as Canucks beat Blackhawks 3-2

Pettersson sets rookie scoring record for Vancouver

Vancouver Island cancer survivor not giving up fight

Kim Angell grows from advocate and blogger to the face of national campaign

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

Most Read