OUTDOORS + RECREATION

Search and Rescue teams issue reminder about hiking safety

Apr 23, 2024, 7:30 AM | Updated: 1:57 pm

A hiker walks along the trail on Ensign Peak, Search and Rescue teams issue reminder about hiking s...

A hiker walks along the trail on Ensign Peak. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

LAYTON, Utah — Search and Rescue teams are reminding hikers to stay safe after a hiker got lost this weekend.

25-year-old Tobias Braaten, from Washington, planned an overnight trip near Thurston Peak in Layton on Friday. He didn’t return when expected.

Search and Rescue crews began searching for Braaton Saturday night.

“We had helicopters searching both through the National Guard and [the Department of Public Safety], we had teams scouring the trails, we had actually called for an agency assist to have Weber County Search and Rescue also come for some additional manpower,” said Davis County Search and Rescue Commander AJ Sano. 

He returned safely back to the trail Sunday afternoon, without any injury.  

Hiking safety: the basics 

Even though Braatan’s circumstance ended well, Sano said situations like this are a good time to be reminded of the basics of hiking safety. 

Sano said its important to keep a map or an app that has the trail details handy. They can help you get back to the marked trail or direct rescue teams to your location.

Sano also said many hikers will confuse game trails for hiking trails, which often leads to confusion. 

“Deer or what have you will create a bit of a trail, but it is not a hiking trail, it’s a game trail. That’s one of the reasons hikers will get lost, and not know where they’re at or how to get down,” he said.

Sano said lost hikers are the most difficult for Search and Rescue teams and require the most resources. 

However,  lost hikers aren’t the most common reason teams are called up to the mountains. According to Sergeant Sean Endsley with the Weber County Sherriff’s office, Search and Rescue teams get most of their calls due to injuries or medical events on the trail. Its usually injuries or medial events.

“Those medical issues are related to sprained ankles, broken ankles, some sort of fracture,” Endsley said. Other medical problems they deal with are things like overheating, dehydration, or allergies.

So, as you venture into the mountains this summer, remember to stay safe.

Related: Fernwood Trail Hiker found Sunday

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Search and Rescue teams issue reminder about hiking safety