Tips for Planning Your Adventure Trip
Spring is on its way, and the days are getting longer, so it’s time to plan exciting trips to look forward to this season. The Sea to Sky region has endless opportunities for adventure, from day trips to multi-overnights. However, it’s crucial when planning a trip to research the route, be prepared, and pack the necessary equipment. The wilderness can be unpredictable; being prepared for changing conditions and emergencies is essential.
Read on to learn more about getting started with proper trip planning, equipment, and safety tips.
Plan your Route:
The first step in planning your adventure is choosing the appropriate route and destination for everyone in the group. It’s essential to account for each group member's fitness and experience levels before settling on a specific route. Whether you’re planning a trip during the winter, summer, in the mountains or on water, you should follow AdventureSmart’s 3 T’s; Trip Planning, Training, and Taking the Essentials.
Once you have chosen your destination, it’s time to study the terrain and current conditions. Use a map, GPS device or GPS tracker on your phone to plot your route. Choose your waypoints carefully; if camping overnight, choose somewhere with excess drinking water. When preparing your Trip Plan, you need to include details on the 5 W’s and H.
Who - Include names, descriptions, emergency contacts, training levels, medical conditions for everyone in your party.
Where - Provide specific details on the end destination (exact coordinates if possible), intended route, and alternative if applicable.
When - Estimate approximately how long your adventure will take, hours if just a day trip, or return times for overnight trips. Allow for leeway on the later side in case of minor delays.
What - Include a packing list of the essential items you’re bringing on your trip. This will help emergency services to know how prepared you are.
Why - Describe the purpose of your trip and a short description of the journey.
How - Describe the group's vehicle and your starting and ending points for the adventure.
Take these points into account when planning your adventures, as it will help create the safest environment for everyone. Once you have built your trip plan, it’s important to leave it with someone conscious of the time. If you do not return on time, this person is in charge of notifying the proper authorities. Choose your person carefully and make sure they understand what they have volunteered for.
Preparing for Adventure:
Once you have your route planned, it’s time to start preparing. Beautiful British Columbia has earned its name for sure, but as magical as it is, it can be unpredictable and dangerous. You will need a clear weather window to accomplish the most complex missions. Whether you’re organizing a long overnight in the mountains or a trip on the water, there are many factors to account for to have a successful trip. Most importantly, when heading out on a touring trip in the winter, step one is to check the avalanche bulletin. It will be the defining factor in which aspects you should travel across and ski. You will also need to evaluate the winds, precipitation levels, and evaluate the amount of daylight. Here are some helpful web browsers to help plan your next adventure:
Now that you have the tools to prepare for the weather, it’s time to pack for the unexpected. It can be helpful to start by making yourself a list.
For every adventure, it’s vital to pack an essentials-only bag that you should carry at all times. It should include life-saving emergency equipment such as a flashlight with spare batteries, fire-starter kit, signal device, extra food and water, excess warm layers, navigation/communication tool, first aid kit, multi-tool or knife, emergency shelter, and sun protection. No matter how small or big your trip is, your group should be prepared in case of an emergency.
MEC has great packing lists for every adventure, from specific hiking trails, kayaking, ski touring, and more. Hit the link to pack more efficiently for your next trip: MEC Packing List
When it comes to your GPS device, there are many different options for you to choose from. Garmin makes the best GPS trackers on the market. However, you may want to invest in the Inreach Mini for smaller expeditions. It’s compact and easy to use; you can preset contacts and messages for easy access. The Inreach Explorer+ is the ultimate adventure tool. You can easily communicate and share your location with friends and even download topical maps with GPS tracking.
What you pack in your first aid kit could help save a life. So it’s vital to cover all the basics in your bag and pack for the extra mile. Make sure to include Bandaids in varying sizes, antiseptic wipes, tape, medications, and gauze. When heading into the backcountry or wilderness away from easy access to medical services, you need to ensure you pack extra equipment in case of an emergency—pack excess gauze, tensor bandages, splint, electrical tape, blister packs, and more. You should cater your first aid kit for each adventure. Here are good examples of wilderness first aid kits:
If you’re looking to further your knowledge in the wilderness, training courses can help you feel more confident on your adventures. When heading into the backcountry in winter, it’s essential to take your Avalanche Skills Training Course Level 1 to learn more about the causes of avalanches and to travel in the backcountry. Suppose you’re already proficient in the backcountry and looking to further your knowledge of snow science. In that case, the Avalanche Operations 1 course is a week-long course that dives into more advanced snow specifics. You could also sign up for a first aid course; choose between the regular 20hr course or the most advanced OFA 3 course. You can even take wilderness-specific courses that teach you to adapt your skills to use only the resources around you. These training courses will help you make more informed decisions while adventuring.
More daylight equals more time for fun adventures. So take advantage of all British Columbia has to offer; it’s time to venture into the wilderness on all the beautiful hikes, tours, paddles, and more. But always remember rule number one; be prepared and plan accordingly. As beautiful and magical as the wilderness can be, it can be dangerous and unpredictable. This guide is only a start, and it is up to you to prepare in case of an emergency and do your part to keep yourself and others safe. Happy Trails!
Posted: Wednesday, March 09, 2022