More people are heading out onto the trails now that some COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, but it’s important to be prepared.

That’s the message from Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue president, Paul Berry.

He says social media has been a big reason why so many people are not ready when they head out onto the trails.

“We’ve seen a trend in the last couple of years, and I think social media has been a bit of a contributor, many people see images and posts of a great hike to go on and don’t take the time to do their homework.”

Berry says if you plan to adventure, even just for a day hike, it’s important to remember the three T’s.

“We like to speak to the three T’s, trip planning, training and then the essentials that people need to take.

“Trip planning really means searching where you’re going, the nature of the terrain, whether it’s technical or not, the weather that you could expect in that area. Training is making sure that you are physically fit and the people who are with you are also capable are getting into that environment, and the essentials are the basic items that you should always have with you, and I mean always.”

Some of those essentials include things like a GPS or Satellite Phone, having something to start a fire with, food and water, an extra change of clothes, and even a first aid kit.

Berry adds that one thing you should always do before heading out for your hike is to tell someone where you plan to go.

“If people are venturing out, and we do want people to get outside and get exercise and enjoy our beautiful province, they need to let people know where they are going, what route they are going to take and when they anticipate coming back.”

He says over the last week, the Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue team responded to four calls including two medical evacuations and two that needed the Regional Helicopter Hoist Team.