Ready to handle an all-day emergency? Take this quiz to find out.
1. It’s 104¡F, the sun’s directly overhead, and you swear you’re seeing the shimmer of a mirage. Or is that your vision fading out? Your head’s pounding . . . oh, and, yep, you just passed out for a minute there. You:
(a) Pound your last liter. (b) Find some shade, sip, snack, and make a plan to find water. (c) Keep moving; the map shows a blue-dotted line on route in a few miles.
Answer: (b) You need to replenish water and electrolytes; have a salty snack with that liter, then look for a reliable water source on a map (dotted blue lines indicate intermittent ones). If you can, rest in the shade until temps drop, then set out.
2. Your foot snags between two rocks, and down you go. You hear a snap just as your leg riots with shooting pain. You’re not positive, but it sure feels like your shin bone (or whatever that’s called) is broken. What’s your move?
(a) Apply a splint. (b) Pop some ibuprofen and hobble to the trailhead. (c) Try to confirm that the leg is broken.
Answer: (a) Just assume the leg’s broken. Pad the area with clothing, and wrap a sleeping pad around the limb, including the joints both above and below the break. Tie it in place (ensure good circulation). Then wait for rescue. No supplies or no one coming? Use a Y-shape stick as a crutch, pop that Vitamin-I, grit those teeth, and start hiking.
3. You look up from your class 4 scramble and realize you’ve climbed yourself into a pickle: Going up looks impossible. Climbing down to the broad ledge 15 feet below looks just as scary. You have some paracord, and a storm’s coming. You:
(a) Go for the down climb. (b) Stay put and wait for rescue. (c) Lower off a nearby rock or tree.
Answer: (c) If there’s little chance of a deadly fall, tie a hand line to a rock that’s well attached to the mountain and that the rope won’t slip off the top of, or a tree that’s alive and at least 6 inches in diameter and 5 feet tall. Wrap the rope around your anchor three times and tie it off with a double fisherman’s knot. Add overhand knots every few inches along the length of the rope to give it more grip. Face the cliff and lower down, hand-over-hand. (You’ll have to leave the rope behind; this is for emergencies only.)
For each incorrect answer:
For each correct answer: