How To Call 911
In The Wilderness
(Without Cell)

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20th, April 2024

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The very first step when you realize you’re lost while hiking in Canada is to reach out to emergency services. If you have cell reception, immediately dial 911, which is the universal emergency number in Canada. It is crucial to provide them with as much clear and concise information as you can. Details about your last known location, the trail you were on, and any notable landmarks can be invaluable in aiding your rescue. Following their instructions diligently can make all the difference in ensuring your safety.

Using Satellite Communication

If cell reception is not be available, a satellite phone or a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) could potentially be a lifesaver. These devices can send out a distress signal with your precise location to the relevant authorities. Hence, it’s always a good idea to carry one of these if you plan to hike in remote regions.

If you’re out of cell range and don’t have a satellite phone or a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), try to find a high vantage point to increase the chances of cell reception. If that’s not possible, signal for help using visual and audible signals, such as creating a large SOS with rocks or sticks, using a mirror to reflect sunlight, or shouting at regular intervals. It’s also important to stay put and keep warm until help arrives.

SOS Symbols

SOS symbols are internationally recognized distress signals used to communicate extreme emergency situations. They can be visually represented in various ways, such as laying out rocks or sticks in the shape of “SOS” or using light signals – three short, three long, and three short flashes. Audibly, it can be represented by sounds, like shouts or whistle blows, following the same short-long-short pattern. SOS signals are intended to draw attention and summon help in emergency scenarios.

Stay Calm and Stay Put

Lastly, it’s important to stay calm and stay put. Panic can lead to poor decisions. If you’re lost, it’s generally better to stay in one place so rescuers can find you more easily. Remember, your safety is the priority.

By understanding these steps, you can ensure your hiking adventure doesn’t turn into a distressing ordeal.


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