Canada - English
Everyone loves the fall colours and spending the day hiking, right? All fresh air and wholesome good times with friends – until something goes wrong: you get off route or you get in over your head, or you forget a piece of gear and get into a fight about it. Whatever the issue, chances are it could have been avoided if you’d done something different earlier on. Here are five tips, for your first trip or your thousandth, for reducing the chances that your beautiful day on the trail goes sideways.
Be honest – with your group and with yourself – about what you can do. If you’re directionally challenged, don’t have others rely on you to navigate. Not in top shape? Dial back your expectations and do something easier. Know nothing about first aid? Say so.
And then keep putting in the effort to get better. Take part in the map work on the trail. Keep training and keep learning. Whatever the endeavor, building your skills is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Plan on improving methodically, consistently, over time. Don’t expect miracles and don’t cut corners.
You know where you’re starting and finishing, but what about what happens (or might happen) in between? How will you deal with turning weather, injuries, wildlife encounters, wrong turns, and unknown unknowns? Talk it out, write it down, leave instructions with someone not on your trip. It’s fun to hope for the best, but it’s more important to plan for the worst
Stay safe and have fun.
The Alpine Club of Canada has been our country’s national mountaineering club since 1906. With a national office in Canmore in the Rocky Mountains and 25 local sections from coast to coast to coast, we are open to everyone. Join us.
About the Alpine Club of Canada
Established in 1906, the ACC is Canada’s national mountaineering club with a current roster of 17,000 members. The organization operates the largest network of backcountry huts in North America, from the Conrad Kain Hut in BC’s Bugaboos Provincial Park (highest hut located at 9,700 feet) to the Keene Farm Hut (lowest hut located at 1,115 feet). The ACC runs guided adventures out of its national office in Canmore, which last year had 54 adventures and 634 participants. It also runs a General Mountaineering Camp every year in the high alpine.