Letters to the Editor

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RAINIER: Outings require planning, preparation

Letter by Beth L. Owen, Gig Harbor on Jan. 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm with 2 Comments »
January 30, 2012 2:21 pm

How many missing snowshoers or skiers does it take to understand the concepts that “Mother Nature always wins” and “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”?

Every year, we hear stories about folks out for a “short hike” in our mountains who end up lost and then sometimes dead, all for lack of some simple planning.

Taking a walk, even a short one, in the winter in our mountains has a fairly high potential to be dangerous to your health. How does this happen? A sudden, unexpected blizzard. The fog rolls in quickly, and you can’t even see your feet. You accidentally stray onto a snow cornice and fall through. Suddenly you are lost and all you have in your day pack is half a sandwich.

Enjoy our majestic mountains in the winter, but please educate yourself before heading out. Take classes on how to be prepared from organizations like The Mountaineers who teach about essentials that you must take with you every time you head out, even when on a “short hike” – extra food and water, proper clothing, extra clothing, map and navigation equipment, emergency shelter, fire starter, first aid kit, flashlight.

Don’t go alone. Write down your trip plan and leave it with someone. Check a weather and avalanche report before you go.

Do yourself and all the rest of us a favor by doing a little planning before heading out into our “wild”erness.

Leave a comment Comments → 2
  1. ReadNLearn says:

    Natural selection comes back in whenever nature is heavily involved. The only time I ever had to do any ‘camping’ or ‘hiking’ was when I was in the military and did so without a choice, including some epic trips to Huckleberry Creek and the one thing I learned was that people who willingly left behind warm homes and comforts either were forced to do it like soldiers, or fools who want to play in the snow even though they’re supposed to be adult.

    Beth’s providing good advice, but her intended readers aren’t overly bright. They’ve heard it before and they go up in the mountains, sometimes with windbreakers, a granola bar and sneakers.

  2. alindasue says:

    An important thing to remember is that the rules of being prepared apply equally as much during the summer as they do during the winter.

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