STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com) — Michael Leum, the Reserve Chief of Search and Rescue for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, appeared on KCAL9 News on Saturday morning with hiking safety tips.
Leum was recently involved in the rescue of teen hiker Kyndall Jack. The 18-year-old was hoisted to safety Thursday afternoon after spending four days in Orange County’s Trabuco Canyon.
Among his tips, Leum recommends:
• Be prepared with appropriate footwear for the environment, sufficient water, a flashlight, signal mirror, cell phone, a GPS, map, and compass.
• Exercise caution in areas that have waterfalls and water pools. These areas tend to have wet, moss-covered rocks that are slippery.
• When crossing over a trail or the trail forks, continue for a few yards, and then turn around and look back to try and memorize the area, so that when you return to the trailhead you remember the right trail/fork/road to take.
• Also remember to turn your cell phone off when hiking in areas of limited or no cell coverage. When a cell phone does not reach a cell site it continuously transmits to find one and drains the battery rapidly.
• If you need assistance, DIAL 911 first. GPS technology from a 911 call can more accurately pinpoint your location and get help to you faster.
• Let people know that you are going for a hike, where you plan to hike, and when you expect to return. If you find yourself too tired to continue or you are injured or lost, do not delay or hesitate to call 911 and ask for assistance. Daylight hours are better for search and rescue operations than night time hours.
• When you huff and puff your body is not getting enough oxygen. Walking at a pace that allows you to be able to walk and talk means that your legs and your body are getting the oxygen needed to function efficiently.
• If you’re hiking in a region that has poison ivy, oak or sumac, make sure you are aware of what the plants look like and how to avoid them. Even if you haven’t previously suffered a reaction, that doesn’t mean you are immune. It can be the exact opposite. If you believe you may have been exposed, taking immediate action can reduce the length and severity of an outbreak.