Tips for Safety and Survival in the Backcountry

Posted on: April 12, 2024

Tips for Safety and Survival in the Backcountry

Spring of 2024 has kicked off with some gloriously sunny days, though the nights and mornings have remained quite chilly. All this warm sunshine has us outdoor adventure lovers thrilled and chomping at the bit to get out into the backcountry to hike, bike, camp and explore.

Yes, it’s exciting. Yes, it’s enticing… but did you know that BC Search and Rescue volunteers respond to almost 2,000 incidents every year?

We don’t want to be a bummer or anything. We love getting outside and into Squamish's incredible nature. BUT sometimes we need to face some facts. Of these incidents more than half of them occur in summer and the top three causes for search and rescue are people getting injured, lost or disoriented or exceeding their abilities.

If you are planning to go into the backcountry this spring and summer, we have some tips and planning tools from BC AdventureSmart so that you can get informed before you head out.


Always remember the Three Ts:

Trip Planning, Training, and Taking the Essentials

Applying these safety tips can help lessen the risk and ensure your outdoor adventures are safe and responsible.


To increase your chances of having an enjoyable and safe outdoor adventure, trip planning is essential. This will ensure you know exactly where you’re going, what the conditions and terrain are like, and the weather you can expect on the day. It will also allow authorities to quickly find you if anything does go wrong.

When you’re trip planning, always do the following:

Though it is beautiful, the B.C. backcountry is remote and can be unpredictable. Severe weather is one of the primary hazards, so for any backcountry travel you – and everyone in your group – must be self-sufficient. If you’re travelling in difficult terrain, it's wise for you and your group to have first aid training. You always want to be thoroughly prepared before you head out.

Ensure that you:

  • understand and recognize weather patterns
  • can read alpine terrain
  • know the dangers
  • check conditions before heading out

Ultimately, sound judgment and knowing when to turn around and save it for another day are your most important backcountry survival skills.

Chris Christie
Chris Christie
Chris Christie
Hiking responsibly in Squamish

Responsible Recreation

Help us keep Squamish beautiful and awesome.

Hiking in Squamish


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