7 Basic Rules of Survival in the Mountains Away From Civilization
Exploring foreign terrains is an attribute of the firm, daring, and confident person. A typical human being will rarely go to places where there is no civilization. However, there are still basic guidelines and rules to adhere to while visiting sites far from human interaction – such as mountains. These rules aid in safety and ensuring that the participants in the adventure or hiking do not endanger their lives.
One important tip is to have the right tools for the adventure. The right weapons you carry can keep you out of harm’s way. A potent survival knife is one of these tools or weapons, which help safeguard your life when hiking. Otherwise, here are seven of the primary rules governing mountaineering:
1. Having the right equipment
Having all the essentials when going for a hike is mandatory. This is not only for your safety but also for a smoother journey in the mountains. Some of the basic items you must never forget to include hiking clothes, boots, and warm wear to guard against cold. Remember that mountains are high-altitude areas, and failing to keep yourself warm may place you susceptible to diseases.
Besides, you equally need to carry a well-equipped first aid kit, which will help you deal with any accidents as they occur. Not that you will anticipate any negative eventuality, but it is better to be prepared all the same.
Lastly, do not forget to carry enough food and drinks for you, if going alone, or for the entire crew, if going with others. Mountains have no place t easily find foods or drinks unless you want to turn back to a caveman and hunt.
2. Have a plan
Never wake up and decide that you are going to the mountains for a hike. Anything can happen in such an area, and you could put yourself in so much danger without a proper course of action. Take your time and plan the trip properly, if possible, with assistance from an expert. Learn the area you are going to visit first before setting off for the journey. This will help you devise safety mechanisms, and in case of danger, know how to flee.
Going blindly for a mountain hike has led to the death and injury of many people. Unless you want to be part of these statistics, create a solid plan first. Especially if you are a newbie in such activities, try to get someone reliable who can accompany you in the journey.
Besides, please make sure that you alert someone where you are going if you have to go alone. Communication is imperative for such activities. If possible, let them know how much time you will take in the mountains and which routes you will follow. This will help a lot in case of any negative happening.
3. Be creative when danger looms
It is not a false claim that uncertainty is bound to show its scary claws in the mountains. Remember that this is a region with almost zero human interaction, and so, you need to prepare for anything – and we mean anything. Therefore, make sure you have an action plan that involves your rescue. Something like preparing a vast fire pit that is easily visible from the skies – just as you see in the movies. This will help search parties nearby to locate you quickly, especially if there is any airplane navigating that area. If lighting up a fire is a challenge to you, then try arranging stones in the form of the word ‘HELP’ for the aerial rescue team. Of course, this is not an eventuality to wish for or look forward too, but as said, anything is bound to happen.
4. Check the weather beforehand
High alpine regions tend to have drastic weather patterns. As an individual planning to hike in such areas, you need to prepare adequately. Check the weather channel or go online to notable weather websites to see what conditions to expect. Make sure you check the whole week or for the days that you will spend. If you find that there will be extreme weather conditions, you need to abort the mission and pick another day.
Your life is more worth than going to the mountains with life-threatening weather. If at all the weather is fair, you equally need to carry clothing that suits the forecast. This may include packing heavy clothing and jackets.
5. Take it slow
Do not go for a mountain hike with too much force in your strides. Go slowly as the journey will be long and treacherous. When you start with so much energy and walking too fast, you might end up losing your stamina on your way back or even on your way to the top.
An important tip is to understand who you are first. Know your physical fitness, and if you are with companions, learn of theirs too. This will help all of you maintain a comfortable run to the top of the mountain, or somewhere near. Besides, having a breakneck pace leads to overexertion.
Overall, going under a gradual pace helps you explore the mountains better and see every physical feature as you had imagined in your mind. Maintain each other's speed and make sure that nobody surpasses a given rate. Never leave anyone behind also, as this is an area with no civilization. Maintaining a slow pace helps all of you to keep track of one another. The height of your troubles can begin quickly when one of you gets lost. Experts will tell you that it is not an easy fete looking for a lost person in such areas. Therefore, it would help a lot if you all took everything slow and steady.
6. Respect the environment
Bearing in mind that mountains stand away from civilization, they are not cleaned efficiently. Therefore, leaving wastes and dirt behind is a horrible idea. It is quite unfortunate that many people still do this up to these times. Mountains are a heritage and pride to the society, and maintaining them clean and tidy is part of our call as humanity.
Whenever you have water bottles and food containers in your hiking journey, try to collect them together then either carry them or dispose of them in safe areas. Most mountains have garbage collection areas where you can place your waste, rather than spreading them all over the area. For instance, when you are done with your waste and are at the top of the mountain, littering would mean that someone has to come and pick them up for you. Sometimes those that are in charge of the cleanliness of such areas have scarce resources to cover every point. Thus, you have to play a role in keeping the environment clean.
7. If possible, do not traverse the area alone
Two or more is better than one, in most cases. When going to high areas such as mountains, where human interaction is limited, you need to consider going as a team. Anything can happen, and we cannot emphasize this point more. At least, if, by chance, anything goes haywire, your teammates will offer the initial assistance.
Whether it is your family, friends, or even a tour guide, try to get someone to go with you through the mountains. Sometimes you may not even face any danger as such, but you may get lost. Moreover, with no available communication device, it will be challenging to trace your way back. As a family, or as an individual with no initial background in such areas, it is advisable to get a tour guide to help you.
You can either book a tour guide or arrange for one to come when you arrive at the mountain. It should be someone equipped with safety gear, aside from knowing all the routes like the back of his or her hand. It is better to take precautions than to be sorry in the end.
Besides, try as much as possible not to overstay your visit to the mountains until very late. Even if you are a team, the nighttime is not so safe for you all.
Indeed, survival in the mountains or any other place that is away from civilization takes a lot of courage, precaution, and planning. Never go blindly into such areas without a clear course of action, as you can bump into several challenges. The joy of mountaineering is going and coming back safely. Thus, it is best to implement ALL the above tips, and even more, so that your experience is worthwhile.
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James Murphy is an editor from New York. He is fond of traveling, and in his free time, he likes to write sports articles and to spend time with his family.
About the Author
Ahoy there! The name’s Kevin Smith, the proprietor of this little travel and outdoors blog. The outdoors has always been a passion of mine since I was a kid as my parents were avid campers themselves. They taught me everything I know when it comes to camping, hiking etc. and I would like to do my part by imparting my know-how to like-minded individuals who enjoy the same hobby as me. I started this website in the hopes of helping other people when it comes to answering questions, giving tips and recommendations focusing on the camping niche. Along with some close friends of mine, we are here to help you make the most out of your outdoor experience. Enjoy your stay and enjoy the wild side!