Avoid Cliffing Out
Here we present 20 easy-to-miss risks, and how to avoid or survive them. Stay alive this summer by following these simple tips. One tip will be given each day for the next 20 days.
Accidents are the leading cause of death among U.S. men 18 to 50 years old, accounting for 37,000 of the roughly 148,000 annual fatalities. Some instances of unintentional death, to use the official term, are unavoidable—wrong place, wrong time—but most aren’t. Staying alive requires recognizing danger, feeling fear, and reacting. “We interpret external cues through our subconscious fear centers very quickly,” says Harvard University’s David Ropeik, author of How Risky Is It, Really? Trouble is, even smart, sober, experienced men can fail to register signals of an imminent threat.
TIP 15 – AVOID CLIFFING OUT
Hikers out for a scramble may end up on an uncomfortably steep patch and, finding it easier to climb up than down, keep ascending until they “cliff out,” unable to go either forward or back. Spending a night freezing on a rock face waiting to be rescued is no fun, but the alternative is worse.
FACT: Falls are one of the top three causes of death in the wilderness, along with cardiac arrest and drowning. Cliffed-out hikers account for 11 percent of all search-and-rescue calls in Yosemite National Park.
DON’T: Take a shortcut you can’t see the length of. If you realize you’ve lost your way, either backtrack or call for help. Gadgets such as DeLorme’s inReach SE provide satellite communication to send a distress call from anywhere on the planet.