There’s an App for that!
Stories of the elderly dementia patient who wandered away from home, or the child lost in the woods are all too common. Images of searchers working vast areas, grid by grid, looking for clues, evidence and any sign of the missing are also very common. These volunteers are outdoor enthusiasts with high degrees of proficiency in such things as tracking, wilderness first aid, shelter building, survival training, as well as high-angle and swift water rescues. In Canada, they number more than 9000 serving on more than 300 Ground Search and Rescue teams; and, like firefighters, paramedics and police officers, they are trained, skilled first responders.
In that role as first responders, GSAR team across Canada also dedicate their time and their expertise to training the communities they serve about safety outdoors and how to prepare for adventures outside. They educate the public about how such things as equipment failure and sudden weather changes can lead to disaster. They share their knowledge and their experience to encourage us to get outside and enjoy the beauty of our surroundings and to the develop the skills and knowledge to do so safely.
In support of their mission to keep Canadians safe while outdoors, the Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada have developed an app to help outdoor enthusiasts to plan their adventures. The AdventureSmart Trip Plan App focuses on:
- Planning the trip and sharing it with friends and family so they are aware you are going and when you anticipate being back.
- sharing survival tips and other information related to your planned activity.
- Serving as a guide on what you may need for your planned activity based on the activity, season and location.
It is handy little tool that helps you to think about your safety before you leave home and helps to keep you safe after you leave home. Though it does not automatically contact authorities in the event of an emergency, it helps you to make better plans, informed decisions and to share them with people who will miss you while you are gone. In short, it helps to minimize risk.
People who know about the outdoors, people who want you to enjoy nature and know who to do it safely, have created a tool that forces you to think about your safety before you venture out. They have used their skills in being outdoors and their experience is searching for the missing to make sure that you think about your safety before you leave the house. You can learn more about the AdventureSmart Trip Plan app at www.adventuresmart.ca/tripplan.htm; and, you get free in the Apple App Store for iOS devices and on Google Play for Android devices.