The West Kootenay arm of the BC Backcountry Hunters and Anglers has launched a citizen science project to collect information on West Kootenay alpine lake fisheries. For more information visit: www.backcountryhunters.org Photo: Jim Bailey

The West Kootenay arm of the BC Backcountry Hunters and Anglers has launched a citizen science project to collect information on West Kootenay alpine lake fisheries. For more information visit: www.backcountryhunters.org Photo: Jim Bailey

Trail RCMP; Be prepared for the great outdoors

Follow the “leave no trace” principal by packing out all garbage, waste, and recycling.

As summer finally arrives in the West Kootenay, Greater Trail police officers are beginning to receive calls to locate people who have failed to check-in with their contacts.

Being tasked with searching for people who are unable to check-in due to lack of cell service, and not missing as reported, has detachment commander Sgt. Mike Wicentowich passing on advice to locals.

Trail RCMP ask the public to be prepared for a safe outdoor season by following these tips:

Plan your trip and itinerary well ahead of time;

Check in before you leave the cell service area as cell service often drops off rapidly outside populated centres;

Be prepared for all types of weather and conditions;

Carry a satellite communication device as much of the Kootenays is without cell service;

A satellite device with a personal locator beacon is highly recommended as well as a subscription to activate it.

Know your limits:

Stay within your area of competence and ability if you are hiking, biking, swimming, and/or boating;

Have an emergency kit ready and accessible with enough food and water for 24 hours for each member of your party, as well as blankets, candles, a first aid kit, and a fire starter kit;

Bear spray, bear bangers, and noise makers can help with possible animal encounters;

Secure food from animals at all times;

Follow the “leave no trace” principal by packing out all garbage, waste, and recycling.

“Be considerate of other people using the area,” Wicentowich advises. “Everyone is here to enjoy the area so be a good neighbour, and share your experiences with others so they can benefit from your experiences.”

Finally, the RCMP remind boaters that operating motor craft under the influence of drugs and alcohol is an offence.

Wicentowich says police will be ramping up impaired driving enforcement all summer long.

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