Do an internet search for lost hiker or hypothermia in the news and almost every day you will find multiple news reports of day hikers being saved, or recovered by Search and Rescue.
Depending on which study you look at, day hikers account for 43% to 48% of Search and Rescue activities in the United States of which there an estimated 50,000 missions a year.
Day Hiking is more than double the next leading activity (boating) requiring assistance. Hiking also accounts for the most fatalities, approximately 23% in our National Parks, followed by suicides (12%), boating (10%), and swimming (10%).
Most rescues occur in the mountains, on foot, less than a mile in distance from the last point the victim was seen. The majority of these are men, 20 to 29 years of age, followed by those 50 to 60.
So why do Day Hikers run into problems more than any other group, including backpackers?
As is the case of with most situations in life, it is not just one thing, but a combination. Here are a host of potential contributing factors, that combined in someway, that generally escalate into an incident:
In lieu of these statistical facts, we offer The Lost Day Hiker. This off-trail adventure conducted in the backcountry of the Appalachian Mountains will challenge you on many levels. In return, you will gain a foundation of survival psychology, an understanding of how you physiologically relate to the environment, and the outdoor living skills that will give you confidence to survive that greatest of dangers, FEAR.
Class limit is 10. Classes typically start on a Saturday where we will leave Dahlonega, GA at 8:30 am and return Sunday midday. A WCC liability form must be filled out and sent to us in advance of the class to attend. We reserve the right to reject participants for the overall safety of our clients.
What to Expect and Bring