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Keep Priorities Straight In Back Country Emergencies

Rescue

Over the past month, there have been several cases in northwestern Wyoming of hikers becoming lost and hence, the subject of searches by local search and rescue groups.  Most were not prepared to spend an extended period of time out.  Michael Jarnevic is an Army Special Forces medic who says TV reality shows have been misleading people when it comes to survival situations – situations that can happen quickly not far from Wyoming’s cities and towns. Jarnevic points out that it doesn’t have to be that far into the backcountry to have something really go south fast. He says, “For instance, you’re out hiking alone and you take a fall and you break your leg. Immediately, you’re in a survival situation.” Jarnevic’s insights: The first priorities are shelter, warmth and fire, followed by finding water and signaling for help. As far as finding food is concerned, Jarnevic says human beings can live upwards to two months without food. However, he points out you could die within hours from hypothermia or lack of water, and so he says those need to be your priorities. Jarnevic says that getting lost is the most common back country survival situation. Other instances include darkness, weather and an injury or illness.  In all instances, it is best for the lost or stranded person to stay put and let help come to them.

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