Preventing the Risk while in the Mountain
Emergency Situation is a MUST prevent situation in mountaineering. Aside from common sense, one of the ingredients of enjoying a climb is to manage the potential of risk. We Filipinos are survivors in nature. This post aims to help the mountaineering community on managing and preventing the potential of risk while we are on our mountain destination. We should always bear in our minds and hearts that in any wrong decision we will make, the effect is suffering for us, our family and friends.
Here are the four Things to consider in preventing risk:
1. Listen to the locals. We are just visitors of every mountain destination we are climbing. The locals are the residents, they have more experience and knowledge in the area. In some parts of the country, the locals or some tribal brothers still practice hunting and making traps for wild animals. Listen to their advise- they knew the correct trail, the micro weather system and the topography . Be ready to change your plans in connection to their advise.
2. Prepare for the worst. The weather system of the Metropolis is different from mountain destinations we're climbing. We only have two seasons in the Philippines, the Hot Season (tag-init or tag-araw)- January to June and Rainy Season (tag-ulan) – July to December. The weather forecast today is non-reliable, the best solution for this is to expect the worst weather. Always bring rain poncho and other rain wears. Extra trash bag is one of the best survival stuffs you should have always.
3. Plan is Uncertain. If you encounter foul weather or any condition you didn't plan for, don't stick to the original plan. Get out of the area to a safer place and immediately create a survival plan. As mountaineers we have to carry always the Ten Outdoor Essentials, these are:
- Navigation (map and compass)
- Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)
- Insulation (extra clothing)
- Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
- First-aid supplies
- Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles)
- Repair kit and tools
- Nutrition (extra food)
- Hydration (extra water)
- Emergency shelter
Remember the word of Hervey Voge, "the mountains will always be there, the trick is to make sure you are too." Even if we have our plan, we have to consult the climbing philosophy of "getting to the summit is optional, getting down is mandatory."
4. Climb with Permission. One of the advantages of mountaineering in the Philippines is that we have numerous mountain destinations to climb without a permit requirement. Even if we have this freedom in mountaineering, we have to seek for authorities' permission for our advantage. We can register from local government agencies like Barangay Hall, Municipal or City tourism office for them to know that we are within their jurisdiction. Also, always let someone know where you are going, what trail you are taking, and when you expect to be back. If no one knows you are gone, no one knows where you are, or no one knows if you are overdue, there will be no one looking for you.
Due to climate change and of the exposure to nature of every mountaineer, It is a must for us to practice basic of outdoor risk management to be prepared for any possible emergency situation. As a start, Philippine National Red Cross and Metro Manila Development Authority training on Basic Fisrt Aid and Basic Life Support is a big help for everyone.
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