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Surviving Mountaintops: Beginner Basics
When heading into the mountain tops, it's easy to underestimate what you are getting yourself into. Thanks to this helpful list from the wonderful GearJunkie, you might be able to be a more aware beginner (or, even experienced) traveler before you hit the mountains! Don't be dumb; think ahead and make sure to cover these basics! #1: Be Humble — The mountains are a beast much bigger than you. If the conditions on the mountain change, adjust your goals with them. You might not be able to reach summit this time, and that's ok, if that's what the mountain is telling you. Don't hesitate to make changes and keep safety as the top priority. Do your homework before preparing, and be ready to make changes. #2: Think Ahead — Check the weather far in advance, and then more as the days get closer, not only for the mountain but for the surrounding areas. Research the freezing level elevation and be sure to plan a route that has multiple (SEE: MORE THAN ONE) bail points in case of emergency. #3: Don’t Be Late — Afternoon lightning storms are frequent, especially in summer. Make a timetable to avoid them, and stick to it! #4: Pack Smart — Also have goods for an emergency, a pocket knife, a cable, and food for both legs of the trip. At the minimum!! #5: Bring more water than you need. Enough said. #6: Let someone know where you'll be, and when to expect you back. If you don't make it, at least they have an idea of where you are. Call to check in with a local ranger station as often as possible. #7: Don’t Rely On Technology — Pay attention to your surrounds on the way up, so that if the weather changes rapidly, you can find your way back down even without the help of technology. Bring a laminated map as well, because you never know when your GPS will fail. #8: Survival Attitude — Keep the positive thoughts alive, and stay calm in any emergency situation. The first step to surviving is to believe that you'll be able to survive!
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