The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office shared some tips should travelers find themselves lost.
“Over the past few months, we have received multiple reports of lost or stranded travelers in remote areas of Lassen County. We want people to take advantage of winter in the great outdoors, and to be safe while doing so,” read a Monday post from the department.
Preparation is key for staying safe in this winter climate. Travelers should always keep food, water, maps, and warm layers with them in case they get lost or stranded. Knowing the route you plan on taking and the weather conditions for the day are also important things to check before you go on your trip. You should always ensure that someone knows where you are going, and when you expect to return. Some sites to check road conditions include https://roads.dot.ca.gov, and https://www.chp.ca.gov/traffic.
Technology should not replace sound planning when using GPS in your car, or for an outdoor adventure. People should avoid alternate, or unfamiliar routes that include travel on dirt roads, or in remote areas. Many roads and trails are open in lower elevations, but become impassable as they climb in elevation. Additionally, roads and trails that are frozen in the morning hours often thaw in the afternoon, increasing the likelihood of becoming stuck and stranded.
If you become stranded, you should consider these tips:
1: Use clothing and blankets to trap and conserve body heat.
2: Start the car, and turn the car’s heater on intermittently to gain warmth while conserving fuel.
3: Make your location more visible by clearing snow from the car, tying a bright object to the antenna, or displaying bright objects on or around the vehicle.
4: Periodically move around inside the car to keep blood flowing and stay warm.
5: If you have mobile phone connectivity, call 911, give a clear description of your location including landmarks, and conserve the phone battery.