It Hap­pens Ev­ery Year

Catron Courier - - Front Page - By Gene Brown

Every­one seems to own a fanny pack or a back pack these days. Be­sides be­ing handy for school and work, they can also carry enough items to save your life.

The plains, moun­tains and forests of Ca­tron County seem to cast a spell on res­i­dents and vis­i­tors alike. They beckon oth­er­wise sen­si­ble folks into a mo­ment of thought­less­ness and lure them into her depths. Hun­dreds an­swer this siren song an­nu­ally with lit­tle or no thought, prepa­ra­tion, or con­cern about the po­ten­tial haz­ards or dan­gers that await them. Dozens re­quire some type of as­sis­tance to get back to their cars and safety. Trag­i­cally, some don’t re­turn at all.

Ca­tron County Search and Res­cue would like to sug­gest some sim­ple things to keep you or your fam­ily mem­bers from be­ing a ter­ri­ble statis­tic.

If your ve­hi­cle breaks down, stay with it! Traf­fic is sparse out here, but some­one will be along. If you do de­cide to leave your ve­hi­cle or are out hik­ing, stay on the road or trail. “Short cuts” rarely pan out.

If you be­come sep­a­rated from your group or find your­self in the mid­dle of nowhere, “STOP walk­ing!” You will be eas­ier to find if you stay in one place!

Al­ways carry a few items in your car for emer­gen­cies. Wa­ter is es­sen­tial. Get a GPS unit. They can be in­ex­pen­sive and as easy to op­er­ate as a cell phone. Learn­ing two sim­ple func­tions can in­sure that you get back to your car and your loved ones.

Carry a whis­tle and a sig­nal mir­ror to get searchers’ at­ten­tion. Your voice does not carry and you are harder to spot than you might think.

Carry a large plas­tic bag for pro­tec­tion from the wind and help re­tain your body heat. Have a lighter or book of matches. You don’t need a large fire, but a small one will af­ford heat and com­fort.

There are some more elab­o­rate toys a se­ri­ous hiker might own, such as a Per­son

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