This weeks survival tip of the week is group safety. When traveling with any number from 2 to 100 it’s extremely important to make sure you can account for everyone in your group throughout your trip.
Now I’m not saying you need to wear matching shirts to Disneyland with corresponding numbers on the back. Although matching shirts are extremely effective at identifying your group, everyone is laughing at you. You probably won’t lose anyone but your self-esteem will surely perish on the trip.
One easy and very effective method for keeping track of everyone is to get a head count of everyone in your group before you even leave your car. Verify this number occasionally throughout the day (lunch and dinner make excellent times).
Another easily implemented safety measure is the buddy system. The saying “two is better than one” is definitely true when traveling to an unfamiliar and possibly dangerous situation. Having someone there to get help can truly be life-saving. In addition your less likely to forget about two people than you are about one.
As an added note to tip above, children need to be accompanied by a responsible adult in the group. Two 5-year-olds running around together is not an effect use of the “buddy system.”
As usual, communication is one of the biggest factors in staying safe during any situation. When you’re a populated area the cell phone you can’t leave home without is a fantastic communication device (that’s what it was invented to do, after all, not to watch videos of cats). Still, cell phone batteries die so it’s a good idea to carry a portable charger when you’re traveling.
If you’re in a more desolate area with spotty cell service, FRS and GMRS two-way radios are the way to go. Some units have the ability to communicate over several miles in proper conditions. However, there’s always the chance that electronics will fail so it’s a good idea to carry a whistle or mirror to signal for help.
Another important factor in staying safe in nearly every situation is navigation. Make sure everyone in your groups knows where your going and has the knowledge and tools to get there. If you’re splitting up into pairs of two throughout the day, make sure you set a designated time and place to meet beforehand.
Above all, use common sense and don’t forget to have fun, after all that’s the reason you went on a trip in the first place.
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