From snow-covered mountains to the west, to mossy rivers and unspoiled coastlines to the east, the Canadian wilderness beckons many Albertans to leave the comfortable confines of their home province. Taking a step into the unknown provides welcome relief from the everyday business of life, and technology is making it easier and easier to travel. With GPS, cell phones and computers you can look up where you’re going next, plan your route and make a reservation from the passenger seat or the picnic table – wherever you happen to be! With your tools, know-how and the right Alberta motorhome insurance you’ll be completely prepared for all the challenges both off-road and on.
While your insurance protects you and your RV, however, it’s also critical to be prepared if you camp, hike, fish, or hunt away from the safety of your motorhome or campsite. We’re safer than ever on the road than ever before…it’s what may happen once you exit your cozy recreational vehicle that we still have to worry about!
Be Prepared – Leave Your Itinerary With Someone You Trust
Before setting out into the woods, especially alone, make sure you’ve left your itinerary with a responsible friend or relative. It is also a good idea to leave behind a photo of your motorhome or RV along with your license plate number. Should you find yourself without a cellphone signal or experience battery failure, having an agreed upon return date ensures you’ll be missed and rescuers will be alerted.
Are You Lost? What to Do
Remain Calm – The first step to ensure your survival is to remain calm. If you feel yourself slipping into a panic: stop, breathe, and regain your composure. Understanding and accepting that you may be on your own for a while is the first and most important step to being found. To help you think clearly, remember that you’ve left your itinerary with someone you trust and help will soon be on the way.
Carry a Survival Kit – Reassure yourself that you have the tools and skills to survive. Always carry basic life-saving essentials and wear protective clothing whenever you enter the wilderness. You’ll need a small amount of emergency food and water as well as tools to build a fire, construct a shelter, prepare safe drinking water and signal for help. Your kit should include the following:
- Canteen of water
- Small aluminum container
- Emergency food such as jerky, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit
- Knife and small sharpening stone
- Lightweight (paperback) wilderness first-aid guide
- Lightweight field guide to plants
- Long strike-anywhere matches dipped in paraffin in waterproof container
Build a Fire – Fires attract rescuers. If possible, build your fire near a “wall” of some kind (rock or wood) to allow heat to be reflected back to you and not escape entirely into the atmosphere. If there’s snow on the ground, construct a platform of green logs or stones to build your fire on. Use dry wood as kindling and twigs, dried leaves and bark as tinder.
Construct a Shelter – Fallen trees with space between the trunk and the ground make excellent shelters. Thatched branches can make a lean-to or roof. If you have no other options, build a snow-cave, but keep it shallow with a thin roof. You want to be able to break through easily if necessary.
Signal for Help – A mirror’s reflection can be seen for ten miles and a whistle’s sound travels a great distance. If aircraft come by, try to signal the pilot with your mirror, and periodically blow on your whistle to both alert searchers and keep wildlife at bay. The smoke from your fire will also provide a good signal by day and night.
Find or Prepare Safe Drinking Water – Melting ice or snow in your mouth uses energy your body will need to stay warm, so use whatever container you may have and your fire to melt snow for drinking. If necessary, filter the water through several layers of a folded handkerchief first to remove debris.
Stay Where You Are – Though you’ll be tempted to try to find your way out, stay put. The more you move, the harder it will be for rescuers to find you.
Bow Valley Insurance: Motorhome Insurance
At Bow Valley Insurance, we hope you and your family enjoy a safe and happy holiday in your motorhome – without getting lost either on the road or in the woods! We would be happy to discuss your motorhome insurance coverage with you at any time – our experienced insurance specialists are waiting to talk to you. We will explain a variety of ways you can save on your motorhome insurance through our payment options and discounts. Bow Valley Insurance represents several leading providers and will shop around to provide you with a rate comparison so you can select the coverage that’s right for you.