GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. — Kaila Pirrie is an avid hiker who spends several days a week outside.
“I hike pretty often, I would say 4 to 5 times a week,” says Pirrie. But she’s often alone with just her two dogs. “Some of the dangers of hiking I would say are people with bad intentions…. Maybe bring mace, you know, just in case,” she says.
But not everyone who hikes is an experienced outdoors person. One search and rescue volunteer we spoke with says in 2020, more people spent time outdoors because of quarantine, which lead to an increase in search and rescue missions. And in the winter season, ice and snow can create major problems for new and experienced hikers alike.
“It makes for a lot of erosion that can cause people to trip and fall, even if they’re just walking along the trail,” says Alie Wilson, a volunteer with Mesa County Search and Rescue.
Wilson provided tips to stay safe while hiking: Stay on the trail; plan your hikes; bring plenty of water; and if lost, stay put.
The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office recommends people purchase Colorado Search and Rescue Cards to help fund rescue missions.
Cards can be purchased through this link: https://dola.colorado.gov/sar/cardPurchase.jsf