A recent survey by the Squamish SAR crew of hiking groups at the Stawamus Chief has found that only 20% were carrying a whistle and only 8% had an emergency blanket.
Every group was given an emergency blanket and a whistle by the Squamish SAR prevention team. SAR teams did a survey at a trailhead near the Stawamus Chief on September 17, interviewing 271 adults and four children about their preparedness for the hike.
The survey revealed that 66% or people had told someone where they were going and when they will be back. While many groups had a map of the trails, 24% had no map and were unsure where to find one.
As many as 7% planned on using a street map (if they needed a map) and didn’t know that street maps are inappropriate for hiking. One third of all trail users didn’t know to call 911 in an emergency. Over 90% had food, water and a phone. As well, 69% had extra layers but only 26% carried a headlamp.
“Blankets and whistles are part of the essentials,” says Christine Strub, Prevention Team Coordinator for Squamish SAR. “They should be part of what you are carrying on an outdoor adventure.”
Extra clothing, whistle, flashlights, and extra food and water are among essentials recommended by Adventure Smart.
Squamish SAR has educated people while distributing blankets and whistles in the past as well.
“The goal of the prevention team is to share our knowledge and experience with as many outdoor enthusiasts as possible to reduce the number of close calls and incidents, and also to reduce the severity when an accident does happen.”