January 06, 2004

Day Hiking and Preparedness

In the midst of one of the worst cold snaps in recent memory (ok, I hear the folks back East snort in your -40 ice storm, but lows in the 20s is damn cold for us Californians), a day hiker got lost in the local redwood forest.

Now this isn't real wilderness, like Alaska. Nor is it getting lost in Central Park. but the Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve borders some of our more affluent bedroom communities, like Woodside and Hillsborough.

According to writer Sean Webby (how's that for an online journalist's name?) in the San Jose Mercury News, the hiker was found after "two bitterly cold nights" and was being treated for hypothermia and dehydration.

Avoiding Monday-morning quarterback speculating, and thinking purely of what-if scenarios, I started thinking about the stuff I carry on day hikes, and what I have on my person on a daily basis.

I rarely have fire-starting materials (Survival precept: Warmth) in this anti-smoking community. Signalling, assuming lack of cellphone reception, would be limited by my voice. And shelter would probably be a hasty lean-to from scrounged materials and cordage.

Time to start giving this serious thought, and to pack accordingly. More later.

Posted by jameshom at January 6, 2004 07:08 PM | TrackBack
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