BWCA First 3 things to do when lost Boundary Waters Group Forum: Wilderness survival/first aid
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01/22/2021 03:11PM  
I always thought the top 3 things to do is is fire, shelter, water. But I just took the snowmobile safety course and they said it is fire, shelter, signal. And that for me thinking. Maybe they are right. Maybe water is 4th because you could be rescued fast. Or maybe it depends on where you are and time of year? Thoughts?
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01/22/2021 06:51PM  
Context/situation always matter, but in all the courses or tests I've taken, focus on rescue has always been very high. Situations like survival shows like to portray of you being out there and no one is coming to look for you are pretty rare. For a snowmobile club it doesn't surprise me that fire is tops, as it both provides warmth and attracts attention of rescuers. In winter I can see some form of shelter being number 2, as hypothermia can set in in a couple hours. In Minnesota I don't think of water as a big risk as you can go about 3 days without any, and there is a lot around us. In the summer, drinking lake water is not that big a risk. Giardia takes about 7 days or so to set in, and in winter there is usually snow or ice. So I think of getting rescued is the priority, and delaying the factors that will kill you as second if not an immediate threat.

Eager to hear what others would say.
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