Search and rescue teams offer life-saving tips

Rescue crews want hikers to be prepared for anything

Search and rescue volunteers train for their next mission on October 29, 2016. (KOIN)
Search and rescue volunteers train for their next mission on October 29, 2016. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Several hikers have become lost in the Columbia River Gorge recently and some of them still haven’t been found.

In light of those incidents, local search and rescue teams are trying to get information out on what to do if you ever find yourself lost or stuck while on a hike.

Hiker dies on Table Mountain

Russell Gubele with Mountain Wave Search and Rescue said they have responded to more than 165 missions in 2016 alone.

“Don’t underestimate mother nature,” said Portland Mountain Rescue leader Steve Rollins. “Mother nature is very unforgiving. Little mistakes have very big consequences.”

Rollins said you always need to let someone know where you’re going. Gubele said in all 3 of the latest cases in which the people have not been found, they didn’t tell anywhere where they were going. 

Even better, invest in some relatively inexpensive technology that could help you find your way back to safety. You should always bring a cell phone and extra batteries or a battery charger.

Search and rescue volunteers train for their next mission on October 29, 2016. (KOIN)
Search and rescue volunteers train for their next mission on October 29, 2016. (KOIN)

In addition to a phone, there are devices like Spot satellite messengers that don’t require cell service. All you have to do is push the help button and search and rescue teams can find you.

They also say don’t pack light. Bring everything you need, including something to keep you warm and dry.

Volunteer rescuers held a training session on October 29 to prepare for their next rescue mission. A group of 17 new recruits practiced with ropes and climbing walls to get ready.

“Little mistakes can be as simple as, ‘well, I won’t change these batteries ’cause I don’t plan to be out overnight.’ And then [you] take a wrong turn and your batteries are dead and you can’t see where you’re going and you’re stuck out overnight and lost.”