For those looking to get back to nature, Nova Scotia has many hiking trails to choose from. To make the most of your hiking experience, the Nova Scotia RCMP is encouraging people to be prepared before venturing out into the woods.
Exploring new trails can be exciting but there can be risks if you don't have the proper supplies and is easy to get lost in unfamiliar territory. In situations when hikers run into trouble, the RCMP works with partners such as the Ground Search and Rescue, EHS, NS Emergency Management Office, Department of Natural Resources, Canadian Forces Joint Task Force and the Canadian Coast Guard to locate and assist them.
"Before heading out for a hike, plan ahead and do some research about the area where you're going." says Cpl. Dal Hutchinson, Media Relations Officer with the Nova Scotia RCMP. "The weather in Nova Scotia can be unpredictable so it's also important to know what to do if you find yourself lost."
Here are a few tips to consider before heading into the wilderness:
- Plan ahead. Make a list of things that you may need, including: rain gear, extra warm clothing, high energy food, water, first aid kit, pocket knife, matches in a waterproof container, sunscreen and insect repellent are recommended.
- Watch the weather. It can change frequently so it's important to know what to expect and dress accordingly.
- Don't go alone. Consider going with a friend or a group of people. It's safer AND more fun.
- Tell people where you're going and when you plan to be back. This can help first responders to locate you in the event of an emergency.
- Bring your fully charged smartphone. This will allow you to call someone if you become lost. Smartphones have become an important tool for first responders to help locate lost hikers.
- If you do get lost, stay calm and keep warm. If you have to stay overnight, build a campfire for warmth, light, and safety. This can also assist as the smoke of a campfire can be spotted by an aircraft.
For more information about Nova Scotia hiking trails, visit: http://www.novascotia.com/see-do/outdoor-activities/hiking-walking.