Hurt or Lost? Call 9-1-1
It takes a 9-1-1 call to activate King County Search & Rescue. If you need help, don’t heistate to make the call.
Stay safe; prevent more injuries.
Perform the necessary first aid.
Make a plan; then follow it.
Call 9-1-1 right away.
You will not be charged for a rescue.
Stop – stay together; stay calm.
Think about what you know and when you last knew it for certain.
Observe what is around you, resources available, possible options.
Plan – make smart decisions; don’t make the situation worse.
Be Phone Smart
Your phone can be a life-saving tool if you use it wisely. Even if you can’t call out, we can sometimes still use your phone’s “digital handshake” to triangulate your location. Always follow these tips.
Bring a Backup
Your phone may become your only lifeline. Always bring a backup battery when you hike.
Text or Tell
Before you start, message or call a friend and tell them where you are going and when you plan to be back.
Snap the Map
If there is a map board at the trailhead, take a picture of it so you have a backup map if you get lost.
Refrain from Drain
Always maintain your phone’s charge. Use a separate device for navigation. Bring a dedicated flashlight.
Call if You Fall
If you get hurt or lost, call 9-1-1 right away. If your call does not go through, text 9-1-1 and include your emergency and your location. Texts can sometime go through even when calls can’t.
The 10 Essentials
Many of our rescues are of people who were just out for a day hike.
Always carry the 10 essential systems whenever you travel in the wilderness. They could save your life.
Always carry a water bottle. Bring purification tablets or a filter on longer outings.
Always bring a map. A GPS system and a compass are smart. Do not rely on your phone.
Always bring extra layers and rain protection. Hypothermia is a real life threat.
Always carry a dedicated flashlight. Headlamps are great. Do not rely on your phone.
Bring weatherproof matches or a lighter. Know how to build a fire.
Shortrange: whistle and mirror. Longrange: cell phone or satelite message device.
Bring the tools needed to repair essential gear or craft replacements in the field.
Sun screen, chapstick, and sun glasses are important, especially in the snow.
On short trips a mylar blanket works. Bring a tent or tarp for longer trips.
Be sure your kit can stop serious bleeding. Always carry your life-saving prescriptions.
As we look to the future beyond COVID-19, and with more people than ever enjoying the state’s natural beauty and public lands, the Recreate Responsibly Coalition offers these guidelines as simple and actionable ways each of us, whether lifelong or first-time adventurers, can do our part for Washington’s outdoors.