This past weekend Grand Teton National Park Rangers sent out a rescue unit for multiple hikers; and as the sun starts to come out more people will be venturing out into the woods to enjoy the summer weather, but you want to make sure to bring a couple of extra things just in case things take a turn for the worse.
Natrona County Emergency Management Coordinator Lt. Stewart Anderson says, "Summertime we look at hikers and we get a lot of calls of overdue on the River."
With the 4th of July this weekend, many residents will be going outdoors to enjoy the long weekend; and with temperatures expected to be in the mid 90’s that could mean taking a trip to Alcova or camping up on Casper Mountain, but when you do it’s always a good idea to plan for the unexpected. "We tell people put on a fanny pack and take some water, food, space blankets whatever. Plan on spending the night," Anderson said.
One of the first things you’re going to want to do when planning to go out into the wilderness is to let someone know where you’re going, and don’t’ just say up on Casper Mountain, be specific, I’m going hiking on the Bridle trail. "We've even had people go as far as they make copies of the map and leave it with a friend or a spouse and say this is where we're at, if you don't hear from us by so and so time this is where we'll be and the search and rescue is real easy," Anderson said.
If you’ve never been there before, it’s always a good idea to follow the signs. "Stay on that trail. Get maps, do a little research on the Internet," Anderson said.
It’s also a good idea to buddy up that way in case something does happen there is someone there with you. "Take someone with you because your chances of survival go way up when there's more than just you alone, it helps you stay calm and you can work through it," Anderson said.
If you do end up having to spend the night, you will want to build a fire, but when doing so you want to be smart about where you build it. Bureau of Land Management High Plains District Management Officer Kirk Strom says, "Dig a hole down to mineral soil and surround it with rocks, and again like I was saying earlier make sure to put your fire out when you leave. Douse with water, stir with a shovel, douse with water again."