Emergency Survival Skills

Let’s envision a basic scenario.  

You’ve gone on a quad ride for the day, maybe to a favourite hunting or fishing spot.  You gave someone the general location of where you’d be and that you would be back for supper, but you don’t want to give away your secret spots, right?  So, it’s pretty general.  No one is completely sure which trails you use to come and go and, to make matters worse, EVERYBODY is out today criss-crossing trails and have covered up your tracks, if they ever were distinguishable.

Suppertime comes along and you don’t show up, no worries, “He / She’s never on time anyway”.  Now, it’s 9 o’clock, raining hard, and pitch black outside so someone finally calls a few friends, and they go out looking and at midnight come back and have nothing to show for it.  Now someone calls the police and so starts a search.  It’s an hour or two before searchers are actually in the field and by then the Search Manager determines that it is too dangerous for searchers to go blundering around in the bush at night looking for an otherwise healthy adult male in the general areas you left behind for directions.

Unknown to anyone, you slid off of the trail on a step incline, rolling your quad down the shale and into the bush-choked bottom of a ravine, breaking your hip and your phone.  You have no whistle, you have no food, you are not a smoker, so you have no lighter, you have no shelter, you have no more clothes than what you came in with.

Back to the searchers.  Daylight finds the volunteers gearing up to search for you, but the area is huge and there seem to be little they can do to narrow it down.  Normally, search teams go for about 6 hours and then rotate out.  But they can only do this twice because of the number of volunteers available.  They haven’t found you and they know you don’t have any specialized training or equipment to help you, so your distress level is higher, and they will spend the night looking for you.  

It takes them another 6-hour shift until midnight, and someone finally travels by going along the same trail you did yesterday.  It would be nice to signal to them, maybe turn on the lights on your quad to attract attention, but you can’t … hypothermia is so bad that you can barely move, begin to see the picture?  

Had you managed to turn the lights on your quad to attract attention when you heard another machine approaching, you would have been found.  Not rescued but found.  

While they would still need to bring in high-angle rescue gear and trained team to get you out, and that team is 3 hours away, one of the Search and Rescue volunteers will risk going down that ravine after you.  They will provide first aid, warmth, and companionship while you both await your rescue, just 5 hours from now.

Completely different outcome based on your ability to keep yourself warm, dry, and safe while you waited for a rescue team to find you.

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