Experts urge preparation for back country trips

Posted at 7:20 PM, Dec 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-15 21:20:50-05

Two Idaho skiers in two separate accidents find themselves in the heart of winter danger. These are reminders for everyone enjoying the back country to stay prepared.

It only takes one mistake or an act of God and a nice trip in the outdoors can turn into a fight for your life. Search and rescue experts say preparing ahead can keep you alive.

A Nampa man became lost on the slopes near Tamarack. He dug a snow cave and hunkered down overnight. Rescuers found him the next day.

By keeping his wits and creating shelter the man was saved. Rescuers say the first 24 hours are the most important and the biggest danger is exposure.

"There’s a way better than fifty percent chance that you will spend more than one night out there,” said Jimmie Yorgenson of Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue. “So it's critical that they know they can get through that night. You might get hungry, and you might get thirsty, but that won't kill you. What's going to kill you that first night is exposure."

If you plan to ski, snowshoe, or snowmobile in the back country be ready. Tell someone your plans and at a minimum pack a shovel, beacon, and probe.

There are of course dozens of other items you could pack. The experts say for the best chance of survival pack smart and practice using your gear before an emergency occurs.