Nova Scotia RCMP together with Halifax Search and Rescue, were at Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes: Kearney Lake Trails today demonstrating safe hiking and the agencies' roles in the event of lost hikers.
Exploring new trails can be exciting but there are risks involved if you don't have the proper supplies and it can be easy to get lost in unfamiliar territory. In situations when hikers run into trouble, the RCMP works with its emergency services partners to locate them and bring them to safety.
"Before heading out for a hike, it's a good idea to plan ahead and do some research about the area where you're going," says Cpl. Laurie Haines, Incident Commander with the Nova Scotia RCMP. "The weather in Nova Scotia can be unpredictable so it's also important to know what to do if you find yourself lost."
When planning your next hiking trip, here are a few tips to consider:
· Plan ahead. Make a list of things that you may need, including: rain gear, extra warm clothing, food, water, first aid kit, pocket knife, matches in a waterproof container, sunscreen, whistle, flashlight and insect repellent are recommended.
· Watch the weather. It can change frequently so it's important to know what to expect and to dress accordingly.
· Don't go alone. Consider going with a friend or a group of people.
· Tell people where you're going and when you plan to be back. This can help first responders to locate you in the event of an emergency.
· Bring your fully charged cellphone. This will allow you to call someone if you become lost. Cellphones have become an important tool for first responders to help locate lost hikers.
· If you do get lost, stay calm and keep warm. If you have to stay overnight, build a campfire for warmth, light, and safety. This can also assist first responders as the smoke of a campfire can be spotted by an aircraft.
For more information about Nova Scotia hiking trails, visit: https://www.novascotia.com/explore/top-25/hiking