|Updated: 6/05/2012 1:05 am
||Published: 6/04/2012 10:46 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - The ATV riders who got lost over the weekend in Arkansas followed one of the top safety rules you need to follow during outdoor activities this summer. They stuck together, and they did not go out into the woods alone.
Here are some simple ways you can keep your family safe as you plan your next family outing.
Staying safe this summer is as simple as bringing along inexpensive supplies that can all fit into a backpack like a flashlight, mirror, and map of the park. Having these things with you out in the woods, or on the lake, could increase your chances of survival if you get lost.
Storms, like the ones that rolled into Pulaski County Monday afternoon, can make it tough to keep track of where you are when you explore the outdoors, but, FOX16 ran into a group of runners at Pinnacle Mountain State Park that's never gotten lost.
"We always go in groups. We're almost never alone," says Jake Allison.
"We always know where we are, where our checkpoints are," says Jacob Straessle.
"If it's a few hours later, and you say we're going to be back by five and we're not, people will know where we are so they know where to find us," says Gabe Lodge.
Pinnacle's Park Interpreter, Richard Spilman, says the young men have the right ideas. Spilman thinks a lot of people just decide to go hiking or boating without telling anyone where they're going.
"When I was younger, I've got to admit, I was guilty of the same thing," he says.
Even if you're very familiar with the trail, never go hiking alone and always make sure you tell someone what your plans are and when you plan on coming home.
If you do get lost, don't rely on your cell phone as your only link to civilization.
"I think they think, well, I've got my cell phone, that's all I need. But, if the cell phone doesn't work, you're in trouble," he says.
That's where knowing how to use a compass and map can really come in handy.
"Map and compass and also a GPS unit. What's good about a GPS unit is if you're lost and you don't know where you are, you can give somebody the coordinates and they can find you by the coordinates," says Spilman. "I think that people just don't think about things. You know, I think that they go out and they're just wanting to have a good time, but they don't think about how important it is to stay safe."
If you're willing to spend more money, personal rescue beacons are more expensive than the GPS devices. We found some for as much as $800 online, but, they will work when cell phones and other devices won't because they use government satellites. Once activated, they alert the authorities right away.
The park interpreter says two children got lost at Pinnacle last week. One child stayed in one spot waiting for help. The other went on ahead, and was tougher to find, but, both are safe.