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MT search and rescue group offers tips for ‘heavy pack’ season

Posted at 11:00 AM, Apr 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-22 12:41:02-04

BOZEMAN – Gallatin County Search and Rescue calls the time of year between spring and summer the “heavy pack” time.

Search and Rescue Captain Jason Jarrett says nature can always get in the way, no matter how in shape or experienced you are.

“When you leave the trailhead it could be bare and dry, but it’s not going to be very long before you’re up to your knees in snow this time of year. So you have to be ready for that,” Jarrett said.

You need a warm layer, a dry layer and your normal necessities, such as a way to make fire, food, water, and a way to communicate out. It’s a tricky time of year.

“During the winter it’s snowmobiles and skiers — imagine that. During the summer, it’s water and hikers. And it is not very spectacular in that the hikers are out doing really great stuff, the message is getting out, and people are being prepared. It is typically slip, trip, and fall,” Jarrett said.

“And if you blow out your knee or break an ankle and you’re in town, you can kind of hobble over to urgent care and get it taken care of. When you’re at 11,000 feet and 10 miles back, sometimes you need a little hand and we are glad to come to get you,” he added.

Jarrett said knowing the terrain and your own limitations are the best way to be prepared while you’re out recreating in the mountains, and as always, never travel alone.

 -Emma Hamilton reporting for MTN News