Don Pablo Edronkin

Steps to follow during a wilderness emergency (XIII).

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Returning to civilisation:

After two weeks, most rescue operations are usually cancelled because it is assumed that no more survivors, if any, will be found. However, this is not always true, and if you find yourself under such circumstances, you will have to consider returning back to civilization by your own means.

History provides us with many examples of survivors left alone by rescue teams, both at sea as well as over solid ground. Generally, those stranded at sea will have a harder time reaching a civilised spot because that implies seafaring, and that is no easy task for most people.

This usually means walking long distances, building your own raft or vessel, or taking high risks. Therefore, such projects should be carefully evaluated beforehand.

Among other things, you should consider which one is the optimal season for your departure. For example, in snowed areas spring can be a dangerous moment: due to overall melting, water streams usually carry far more water than during the summer or autumn, and in hilly or mountainous terrain, you will face a significant risk of avalanches and slides.

Your golden rule should be to stay on the spot of the accident unless this turns to be a more dangerous option than attempting your own return.

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