TRAVEL

3 Hiking Tips You'll Never Forget

08/14/2013 03:24 EDT | Updated 10/14/2013 05:12 EDT
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Hiker takes pictures from rock bluff above mtns
North Shore Search and Rescue says hikers make three common mistakes on the trail, and those mistakes often lead to SAR crews being called in to help.

3 tips for safe hiking

- Tell someone about your hike. Explain your destination, the route or runs you are taking, who is with you, and your return time. If you do not return as planned, this person can give the accurate information to the police.

- Take a flashlight or headlamp. A huge number of SAR calls are generated by hikers getting stranded due to darkness.

- Bring water. Underestimating the importance of water in body and brain function under physical stress is overlooked by many. This leads to exhaustion, poor decision-making, falls and collapses.

5 things to remember if you do get lost

- Do not panic. Maintain a positive mental attitude if you become lost. Being lost is not dangerous if you are prepared.

- Stay where you are. People who go on after becoming lost usually get further from the trail and further from people who are looking for them. Help will come.

- Do not go downhill. On the North Shore, going downhill often leads to dangerous natural drainages. These drainages have the common features of very thick bush, steep cliffs and waterfalls.

- Use signaling devices. Blowing a whistle, lighting a fire and staying visible will help searchers find you. Help people trying to find you, even if you feel embarrassed or afraid. Remember that animals will not be attracted to your signals.

- Build or seek shelter. Protect yourself from the elements. Be as comfortable as possible but when it is light make sure you are visible from the air and visible to searchers in helicopters or planes.

With files from The Early Edition's Franny Karlinsky. You can follow her on twitter @franhey

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