Parking lots at trailheads and recreation areas across Vancouver Island have been full all summer as people enjoy the outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the increased number of people in the backcountry, search and rescue teams are seeing an uptick in callouts.
Campbell River Search and Rescue (SAR) has responded to 56 calls so far this year when it had 62 all of last year.
Those calls represent about half of all the calls on Vancouver Island so far this year.
In other words, Campbell River SAR has been busy.
“Lots of medical situations,” said Campbell River Search and Rescue Manager Daryl Beck.
“People have sprained their ankles or hurt their knee and they just can’t walk out from a remote area.”
That’s been a frequent task this summer on the North Coast Trail near Cape Scott where more people are hiking because the West Coast trail north of Port Renfrew has been closed due to COVID-19.
“The other part is a few instances this year where people have got themselves into situations where, and the term is “bluffed out”, where they’ve exceeded their abilities for that particular location and got trapped,” added Beck.
He expects the pace to continue and reminds people to trip plan and stick to it, have the training to do what you plan and tell someone where you’re going.
Additional safety information can be found at adventuresmart.ca