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Hiking Hazards - Amputation

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.

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