These are really cool ski jumping photos.
Santa Fe is a beautiful place with tons of easy access to the back country via many trail heads littered all around the Santa Fe area. While we have one of the countries most extensive urban access wilderness playgrounds this easy access often means ” it is easy to get in trouble”. Often the benign access to our incredible wilderness areas creates a false sense of security which could lead the most experienced hiker to get into trouble. If you are headed out into the back country in and around Santa Fe or your hometown in and around the mountains, that friendly little trail head could be the jump off point for an epic adventure. Are you prepared when you go hiking? The lack of preparation of many casual hikers costs life , limb and often tons of tax payer dollars to rescue those lucky enough to make it out of these situations alive.The recent events in Santa Fe with the crash of a state rescue chopper and subsequent fatalities show that an ounce of prevention is worth its weight in GOLD.
When I head out into the back country , I am always prepared for the worst as my thirty years in the mountains has taught me that even the most experienced people can get into trouble in the high country. When I hike or ski I always carry the following in the event of an emergency:
1. Water and Food
2. Iodine for emergency water purification
3. Matches, lighter and fire tinder ( Cotton Balls or dryer lint soaked in Vaseline stuffed in a film case are super handy if your need to build a fire in the rain )
4. A 50 Gallon Garbage bag can act as a shelter, bivy, poncho etc.
6. A Whistle
8. Cell Phone
10. Extra Layer.
11. Pocket Knife
14. Wool or Synthetic Hat.
All of these items will fit in a small day pack and if you use small stuff sacks the emergency kit can be kept separate from your accessible personal items. By having them handy you will not neglect to take them even for that quick hike you know so well.
Another major consideration when you head up into the mountains is how you dress. In the outdoor industry we all know that cotton is called the “death fabric” because it absorbs and holds moisture making it lose all insulating value as well as impossible to dry. So you are saying, I hike in cotton all the time and have never gotten stuck? This is lucky and when the day comes for a cotton tail to learn the lesson, they may be lucky to survive hypothermia which can kill the strongest people very quickly. If you are traveling in the mountains synthetic fabrics like Patagonia Capilene® or Icebreaker merino wool can save your life and still keep you warm if they are soaking wet. By packing a few layers , the user will have the ability with just a handful of items to regulate body temperature and survive even the worst summer storm.
When heading out for even the most casual hike be aware of a few items and you can hike successfully in all conditions even a surprise summer snow storm. Tell a friend where you are going, how long you plan to be gone and the route you will be taking. Think Region, Route, Return before you go. Sometime things take a little longer than we may expect so I always calculate a little extra time for my hikes.
Heading intoo the back country even for a casual hike, climb, run or mountain bike can quickly turn into a fight for survival. We encourage you to think before you head out for your next adventure . A few minutes of planning and organizing your pack provides the ounce of security if you get lost or get caught in an unexpected mountain storm. For more information on Hiking safely ina nad around Santa Fe, stop by Sangre de Cristo Mountain Works for the best gear and trail knowledge in the area.