How to prepare to hike safely this summer

When it comes to your next hike, the key is to be prepared.
Published: Apr. 24, 2022 at 10:28 PM EDT
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WOLFE CO., Ky. (WKYT) - When it comes to your next hike, the key is to be prepared.

“Bring a map. Know your route ahead of time. Maybe download a GPS app, such as Gaia GPS, and download your maps ahead of time. So you have them when you need them,” said Drew Stevens with the Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team.

Seems simple enough advice. But Stevens said this actually could be life saving.

“We see anything from lost hikers to folks who have been stranded during a canoeing trip. We get a lot of folks who are injured on trail. But a lot of these things can be prevented with a little preparation and planning ahead,” Stevens said.

The Team saw its highest number of rescues last year at around 86. Stevens said they’re already on their way to topping that number this year. With three rescues this week alone.

“Be sure to bring the essentials. Like plenty of water. And a light source like a headlamp or flashlight.”

“My main thing is I always take water. I also always carry a flashlight,” said a hiker from New York, Pinny Kempler.

And Kempler is certainly on the right track.

“Oh wow, I got it right. Yay!”

The views attract visitors from all over.

“Just the sheer rocks. I find it fascinating,” Kempler said.

It can also be a dangerous place where the simplest mistake can you leave you in a dire situation, like the young couple whose canoe capsized Monday, and they weren’t found and rescued until Tuesday morning.

“Even during the winter we stay busy on rescue missions. But as the weather warms up, those rescue missions go up, as well,” said Stevens.

Stevens said you can call 911 at any point you’re in an emergency situation. The dispatchers will help the team find you and get you help.

The team is also volunteer and donation run. You can help out by clicking the link here.

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