Hiking requires common sense

Hiking requires common sense

Far too many rescues everywhere this year because people

The outdoors need to be taken seriously.

It’s great that more and more people are taking advantage of the opportunities to get outside and enjoy the numerous trails both here within the Cowichan Valley and elsewhere, but common sense seems to be lacking, judging by the numerous search and rescue calls around B.C. this year.

The main problem is a lack of preparation. The time needs to be taken to ensure you have the necessary supplies in the event of unforeseen circumstances, especially on longer hikes into the back country.

There’s also a considerable faction of the population that doesn’t understand its limitations. You shouldn’t be trying to climb Mount Everest if you can’t make it up Mount Tzouhalem.

Doing a hike or activity that’s within one’s capabilities will make the experience memorable instead of ending in disaster.

The two ladies who were recently rescued on Quadra Island were both hiking beyond their means for their age. It becomes a worrisome situation for those tasked with bringing them back safely.

The North Shore on the Lower Mainland may possess spectacular scenery, but most hikes around there are very dangerous. North Shore Rescue is probably one of the busiest groups of its kind in the country.

They are also the very best at executing rescues in remote locations, but would rather not be doing it all, stressing people need to use better judgment.

Remarkably, people seem to get caught this time of year by the lack of daylight. Perhaps someone should switch a light bulb on in some of their heads.

The shortest day of the year is coming up on Dec. 21. Daylight begins to dwindle early depending on the conditions of the day and the hike location.

There’s no way anyone should be caught off guard by getting lost or not finding their way because of darkness.

Don’t be a statistic and stick to more conventional hikes in the winter. If there’s any doubt, it might be wise to just hit the gym instead.