BC AdventureSmart team hits the Sea to Sky 

Team was in Squamish on Monday, May 20 and will return to corridor for four days in June

click to enlarge PHOTO BY ALYSSA NOEL - SAFETY FIRST The AdventureSmart team will be in the corridor for four days this summer, getting its safety message out in-person at busy recreation destinations.
  • Photo by Alyssa Noel
  • SAFETY FIRST The AdventureSmart team will be in the corridor for four days this summer, getting its safety message out in-person at busy recreation destinations.

With summer just around the corner, the BC AdventureSmart team is in the full swing of things, getting its safety message out to backcountry users across the province.

Two members of the team held court at the Chief in Squamish on Monday, May 20.

The goal of the outreach is to increase awareness about safety and reduce the number and severity of search and rescue calls in the province, explained BC AdventureSmart Coordinator Sandra Riches.

"They talk to hikers and climbers and park visitors, mainly about the three Ts," she said, referring to trip planning, training and taking the essentials (more on this to come).

Team members also distribute safety equipment—such as emergency whistles, safety emergency shelters, and emergency-signalling cards that can be used to signal to aircrafts—or other interested parties.

Over the summer, the AdventureSmart team will spend four days in the upper Sea to Sky corridor.

(They can be found at the Overland Rally in Whistler on June 27 and 28, Joffre Lakes Provincial Park and a Blackcomb Helicopter event on June 29, and then back at the Chief in Squamish on June 30.)

"The corridor is a busy area, and search-and-rescue members and search-and-rescue groups are some of the busiest in the province," said Riches.

But with a budget that comes in at just under a half a million dollars, the AdventureSmart team is limited in terms of the resources it can dedicate to the region, she said.

"I'd love to have my crew up (in the corridor) all summer ... and just work between Lillooet and the North Shore," said Riches. "It would definitely go to good use and is needed. (But) our budget is for the province, and I need to represent all of the regions we work with."

Outreach workers hammer home the "Three Ts" to all the outdoor enthusiasts they encounter:

•Trip plan: This involves planning a trip and filing a trip plan, which are separate things. Riches said the AdventureSmart app is particularly helpful with this, as it prompts users to let family and friends know where you are going, who you are with, and when you're planning on being back.

•Training: Ensuring that you are adequately prepared is also critical, said Riches. Make sure you are physically fit for where you are going and have completed any relevant courses.

•Take the essentials: Bring a fire making kit, extra clothing, and a signalling device. More information can be found on the AdventureSmart website at www.adventuresmart.ca/land/survive-essentials.htm.

It is also important to be aware of your surroundings and the situation including any dangerous features, such as cliffs, or cold water.

You have to know your limits—know what you are capable of taking on, said Riches. "Are you capable of mountain biking that trail? Are you capable to hike it?" she said.

The BC AdvenutreSmart Trip App is available for download on Apple and Android devices. It is also available for use via web browser here: plan.adventuresmart.ca.

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