Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Hiking Utah
Tribune Reporters
By Nate Carlisle, Jason Bergreen, Erin Alberty and Brett Prettyman

» Twitter: @UtahHikes

» E-mail

» Subscribe (RSS)

Rough weekend for Utah hikers offers safety lessons

Let's call it a good weekend for Utah hikers.

A woman from Maine survived with a broken leg and no food for four days in Garfield County.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

In Millard County, six teenage boys hiked from their campground then got stuck on some ledges. They were able to call for help and a helicopter hauled them to safety the next morning.

The woman and the boys all could have died. There were some things they did wrong to get into those positions in the first place, but there also were some things they did right that lead to a good outcome.

Before you read my observations on this, let me direct you to something more official. Here are links to hiking and outdoor safety tips from the U.S. Forest Service; from the Bureau of Land Management; and from the Utah Department of Health.

As for the lessons I see from the two weekend rescues:

Tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back. This is one you'll see on every list. Victoria Grover, of Wade, Maine, was rescued because her bed and breakfast in Garfield County missed her and some astute deputies found her car rental agreement. It took four days to find her because no one knew for sure where to look. Even if you're hiking with a partner or group, share your plans with someone else.

Always carry a cell phone. This saved the teens in Millard County. You may be tempted to leave your phone behind, figuring you won't get a signal or you don't want to be bothered on your hike. But you get signals in more places than you think. (I recently got infrequent signals in the remote Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.) Besides, if police or rangers launch a search for you, they may move in a mobile cell phone tower.

Carry excess food and water. When your day hike goes wrong, excess may become just enough.

Have some basic first aid gear and matches. A fire helped protect the teens and would have helped Grover.

Don't be afraid to ask for help. The boys did the right thing by calling for help and living with the jokes they probably heard at school today. I'll never forgot how foolish I was the time I didn't ask some ATVs how to hike my way back to the trail head in Red Canyon on the Dixie National Forest. I spent an extra three hours hiking low on water when a simple question could have gotten me to camp a lot faster.

— Nate Carlisle

Twitter: @UtahHikes

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.