You've probably heard the story of the hiker who had a boulder fall on his arm
and had to self-amputate. Or the pastor out on a backpacking trip with his dog
who got trapped in some rocks, wrote his last words in the margins of his bible,
and slowly died of dehydration. The common thread to all these stories? The
people were going solo.
To avoid their fate, never hike solo if you can avoid it. Thus, there will always
be one of you to go for help if necessary. Hiking in groups of 4 is even better,
since that means a pair of people can go for help. Bringing FRS radios is a good
idea, to increase communication -- not just for when someone goes for help, but
if you ever decide to split up, even if just for a few minutes.
Another good habit to get into, whether you end up hiking solo or not, is to
tell someone where you're going. Tell a friend or a relative as best you can
where you intend on going. Plans are always subject to change, but anything
might help that search party find you sooner. It could mean the difference
between amputating your own arm and walking out unscathed.
Return to Hiking Hazards.