Get trail-ready: Custer County Search and Rescue shares essential tips for safe outdoor exploration
CUSTER, S.D. – As spring approaches, many people are eager to head outdoors and explore the trails. However, it’s important to be prepared and know what to do in case of an emergency. Custer County Search and Rescue recently gave a presentation at South Dakota Outdoor Shop, sharing tips on trail preparation and safety.
Know Your Destination
The first step in preparing for a trail excursion is to know where you’re going. Director of Custer County Search and Rescue, Sam Smolnisky emphasized the importance of knowing your destination. “It’s important to know where you’re going. So that way you know what to bring and bringing more than you may actually need.”
Check the Weather
Checking the weather before heading out is also crucial for planning what to wear. If it’s still cold out, dressing in layers is recommended, but it’s important not to wear all of them at once. “By being a little cold when you start out. Your body will naturally generate a little more heat and heat yourself up, but you’re not sweating.”
Let Someone Know Your Plans
Another essential tip is to let someone reliable know what time you expect to be back and where you’ll be going. This can be important in case you don’t return as planned, and help can be sent if necessary.
Carry the 10 Essentials
Having the ten essentials is critical for being prepared in case of an emergency.
- Sun protection
- First aid
- Extra clothes
You may not need all of these for every trip, but it’s better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them.
Call 911 in Case of Emergency
If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, it’s important to call 911. You can also call 911 if you’re lost, even if you’re uninjured. If you’re unsure where you’re going and you call 911, someone from search and rescue will help guide you to safety. Smolnisky states, “When someone calls or texts 911 and they’re injured or lost in the backcountry, search and rescue will be notified immediately and will be given all that information that the dispatch center collected.” Smolnisky added, “People should not be afraid to call 911. If there’s a true emergency so life, limb or eyesight is jeopardized, you should be calling 911.”