NEWS

#TrailHeadSelfie suggested by Coquitlam Search and Rescue

03/14/2015 05:52 EDT | Updated 05/14/2015 05:59 EDT
Coquitlam Search and Rescue is promoting the idea of posting a trail head selfie photo on social media as yet another way you can leave information on a planned excursion. 

Manager Mike Coyle suggests that hikers snap a selfie as they begin their hike and put in on social media using the hashtag #trailheadselfie.

If something goes wrong on the hike, this gives search teams some basic information, such as where and when you generally planned to hike and what you were wearing at the time. 

Here's an example of a trail head selfie.

"I would say it is better than nothing, but it is not the ideal situation," says Coyle. 

Coquitlam conducts about 35 searches each year.

"When we have a missing person, and we don't know where they are going, there is almost nowhere to start. You have the entire area around Vancouver and it is nothing but wilderness as far as you can see."

But he cautions hikers that the selfie is not a substitute for properpreparation, including a detailed trip plan left with family and friends, a time you are expected back and and packing the essentials to survive if you get hurt or stuck.

"To put it in a morbid fashion, this might be the last photo ever seen of you.

If I am using that photo to look for you, and if I can put that into someone's mind that, even on a short walk, I might have to use that photo, they are going to start thinking and think maybe I should be more prepared before I do this."    

North Shore Rescue has expressed reservations about the trail head selfie idea, saying "they may be mistaken as a viable alternative with the best intentions."

"On the face of it, it seems like a good idea, but in reality could lead to false sense of security," the North Shore Rescue posted on its website. 

"Younger individuals live by their technology, and although this may not be a conscious thought, often see it as infallible."

Take the poll: Do you think a #trailheadselfie is a good idea?

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