The days are long, the weather is warm, and that means one thing: Yukoners and visitors want to get outside!
Here's what the RCMP and Yukon Search and Rescue want you to know before you go:
Leave a trip plan with friends or family
Trip plans provide critical information to first responders in the early hours after a missing person is reported. Details about a party's planned point of departure and destination, their clothing and their medical needs can all help search managers narrow the search right from the beginning, when the clock is ticking. Making a plan and leaving it with a friend or family member could save your life.
Pack the essentials
Travelling with the essentials gives those who are stranded outdoors a better chance of surviving longer and more comfortably while waiting for help to arrive. These essentials include:
- Fire-making tools;
- Navigation aids like a GPS device or a map and compass;
- Communication device such as a satellite phone or satellite messenger device;
- Extra food and water;
- Extra clothing;
- Signalling device like a whistle;
- First aid kit;
- Emergency shelter;
- Pocket knife;
- Sun protection.
It's also important to make sure you carry your matches and communication device on your person. In the event you have to drop your pack, get separated from your group, or lose your supplies unexpectedly, you'll still have the means to start a fire and call for help.
"Trip planning and packing the right supplies are important," said Corporal Cam Long, Yukon RCMP's divisional search and rescue coordinator. "But nothing replaces having the proper skillset for the activity you're undertaking, and the ability to remain calm if things go sideways."
Many visitors come to the Yukon in the summer to soak up outdoor activities under the midnight sun. The weather is often unpredictable in the Yukon, though – even in the warmer months. Storms with high winds and rain can occur without warning and cold temperatures and snow can be encountered any time of year, especially in the mountains and more northern regions. These create tough conditions for wilderness travellers and adventurists and can severely challenge boaters on the lake and river systems.
"Taking the essentials on your next outdoor adventure can help you handle an emergency on the trail or river," said Yukon SAR prevention coordinator Mike Fancie. "No one plans to get lost. Getting lost or injured can happen to anyone – regardless of your backcountry experience or distance from town."
Preparation can go a long way in making sure you return home safely. Please keep these important tips in mind when heading out into the Yukon wilderness this summer, and all year round.
Yukoners and visitors can fill out online trip plans and send them to a trusted friend or family member at https://www.adventuresmart.ca/tripplan
Search and rescue operations in the Yukon are a team effort. As the lead agency for search and rescue in the Yukon, the RCMP regularly works in partnership with Yukon Search and Rescue, Civil Air Search and Rescue Association, Yukon Emergency Measures Organization, Environment Yukon Conservation Officers, Yukon Energy, Mines and Resources Officers, Yukon Wildland Fire Management crews, First Nation communities, Wilderness Tourism Association of the Yukon, and MANY more partners to ensure the safe return of lost and missing persons in the Yukon.