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Outdoor Adventure and Recreation Safety

Our company and users are part of a greater global community of Explorers and Locals. As part of this community, we are committed to spreading awareness about the importance of outdoor safety and supporting people who lead an active lifestyle with the information they need to stay safe. We are excited to be partnered with BC AdventureSmart to increase awareness about outdoor safety in British Columbia.

About BC AdventureSmart

British Columbia has over 1,700 search and rescue (SAR) incidents annually, with 80 SAR groups made up of 2,500 volunteers responding to incidents through the year. BC AdventureSmart increases awareness to help reduce the number and severity of incidents by delivering outdoor recreation safety programs to students, outdoor clubs and workplaces to upwards of 20,000 people annually. Additionally, BC AdventureSmart hosts special events in provincial and national parks, at trailheads and on ski-hills.

To learn more about the basics of outdoor adventure safety, check out these tips from BC AdventureSmart below.

Safety Tips from BC AdventureSmart

No matter what outdoor activity you are planning, be prepared.  Follow the three Ts—trip planning, training, and taking the essentials.

Trip Planning

  • Plan your travel route
  • Know the terrain and conditions
  • Check the weather
  • Always fill out a trip plan

Training

  • Obtain the knowledge and skills you need before heading out
  • Know your limits, and stay within them

Taking the Essentials

Always carry the essentials (and know how to use them):

  • Flashlight
  • Fire making kit
  • Signalling device (i.e. whistle)
  • Extra food and water
  • Extra clothing
  • Navigational/communication devices
  • First aid kit
  • Emergency blanket/shelter
  • Pocket knife
  • Sun protection
  • Add other equipment specific to your chosen activity, season and location

Outdoor Adventure Activity Safety

Hiking and Mountain Biking

Remember to respect the terrain, environment and other users while you are enjoying the trails.

Water activities

It is imperative to stay safe when playing on or near water. Be prepared, wear a lifejacket or

PFD (personal flotation device), don’t drink alcohol and make sure you are familiar with your

chosen activity.

Canyoneering/Caving

Stay safe when exploring a cave or canyon by ensuring that you carry proper, reliable equipment and know how to use it safely.  Explore within your physical/mental ability and limitations, stick to established underground routes and practice the explorers motto: “Take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time, leave no trace.”  Regardless of your experience level, never go canyoneering alone and always leave a Trip Plan!

Skiing (alpine)

Alpine resorts are bordered by uncontrolled wilderness areas. Respect the boundary lines, don’t ski out of bounds and make sure you know the Alpine Responsibility Code and learn about the danger of tree wells.

Backcountry skiing

Skiing in backcountry areas means severe weather and avalanches are real hazards. You and

everyone in your group must be self-sufficient—carrying all the proper gear (transceiver, shovel,

and probe) and have avalanche training.

Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling in backcountry areas means severe weather and avalanches are real hazards.

You and everyone in your group must be self-sufficient—carrying all the proper gear

(transceiver, shovel, and probe) and have avalanche training.

Winter recreation

Snowshoeing and hiking in winter conditions can be hazardous. If you are travelling through

avalanche terrain, you and everyone in your group must be self-sufficient—carrying all the

proper gear (transceiver, shovel, and probe) and have avalanche training.

Wildlife (bears)

When you are hiking, biking, and camping in BC, you are in bear habitat. Make sure you are

informed, prepared, and aware at all times. Wildsafe BC is a great resource for making your

bear experiences positive and conflict free.

Wildlife (whales)

BC’s coastline provides opportunities to observe whales and other marine life in their natural

environment. Make sure you bring your binoculars and follow the guidelines to enjoy watching

marine animals safely and responsibly.

Campfires

Make sure you are aware of any current fire restrictions in BC before heading out to camp. Visit

BC Wildfire Service for up-to-date information.

Wildfires

If you are currently visiting BC or planning a trip, find out the latest wildfire information and know

before you go. Check Drive BC for information on road closures, the BC Wildfire Service for an

interactive map, and Emergency Info BC for alerts.

Surfing

Stay within your ability. If in doubt, don’t go out!  Learning about rip currents and taking a lesson will help you discover how to surf safely.

Stand Up Paddleboarding

 

Before stand up paddleboarding, remember to check the tides, current weather condition, and upcoming forecast. Learn the beaches’ different rip currents and familiarize yourself with Transport Canada regulations for SUPing in the area. Carry a PFD and a whistle and always wear a long leash. We also recommend taking a lesson!

Storm Watching and Coastal Hiking

Dress in layers with a warm layer and a wind/rain shell and wear sturdy shoes that can get wet. If you’re on a coastline trail, stick to the trail and stay off the rocks. Be prepared – high tides, and strong surges can make beach access unpredictable and treacherous. Stay off the drift logs if the tide or swell is high. Consult a tide table, the swell forecast, and the park’s Wave Hazard sign before any shoreline activities.

AdventureSmart and CoastSmart are great resources to help you get informed before heading outdoors, for more information on any of these activities please visit their website.

Yervana Locals Safety and Training Requirements

Yervana Locals must meet the safety and training requirements set by the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, as well as our safety and verification precautions, before we allow them to post and lead Adventures through Yervana.

There are Locals who have their own independent business license, parks permits and insurance, and although these are not separated on the platform, every Local is insured and their qualifications are listed publicly in their profile.

We communicate directly with every Local who signs up, and lead them through the process to assess what they need in terms of skills and qualifications, first aid training, and insurance to safely and confidently lead an outdoor activity.

Below is a list of basic requirements and coverage for Yervana Locals.

First Aid

All Yervana Locals obtain first aid certifications, the level increases depending on difficulty level and safety concerns of the Adventures they are hosting.

We encourage all of our Locals to have Wilderness First Aid, which is a 20-hour course covering general medical concepts, basic life support skills, and low-resource options for basic first aid treatments. Standard Wilderness First Aid is designed for outdoor enthusiasts on day trips and short adventures, offering relevant and realistic first aid training with an unparalleled focus on hands-on practice. The course includes the Red Cross 2 Day Standard First Aid Certification.

Insurance

Every Yervana Local must apply for our insurance, which covers up to $2 million liability. This process includes being vetted by our underwriters and generally they must have Standard First Aid and/or Wilderness First Aid.

It is the combined responsibility of our company and Locals to ensure the necessary permits and insurance requirements are being met for Adventures, we take safety precautions seriously.

Safety and Education Partners

As a company, it has always been our position to work collaboratively with the outdoor recreation community, including government and safety and regulation agencies and the excellent work of outdoor safety and education search groups in the areas we operate in. Below are some of our major partners.

  • AdventureSmart

    AdventureSmart is a national prevention program focused on reaching Canadians, and visitors to Canada, who participate in outdoor recreational activities. Learn more about them at the top of the page.

  • Coastal Wilderness Medical Training

    Coast Wilderness Medical Training provides Wilderness First Aid training to our Locals, a requirement for to become qualified to lead Adventures through Yervana. The instructors are medical professionals with real world experience.

  • Outdoor Vancouver

    Outdoor Vancouver is an active hub for hiking and outdoors community in the area. They bring the latest news, events, hiking trail guides, company profiles, product info, and more to Vancouver’s outdoor recreation enthusiasts and endurance athletes. We have partnered with them to keep the public and people who live an active lifestyle informed about safety and hiking trails in BC.

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