We all have wondrous dreams in our head when hitting the trail, and backpacking out into the backcountry.  What are the odds YOU would ever need a rescue? Is there a better place to go then others?

According to a new study, it reveals that more hikers in Utah’s national parks need to be rescued than anywhere else in the country. From 2001 to 2005, there were more than 1,100 search and rescue operations in Utah’s national parks. According to the Associated Press. The more interesting of the report was most people who needed to be rescued were men. Men experienced trouble on a day of boating or hiking.


Heat, fatigue and preparedness were frequent causes of trouble for those trying to enjoy the parks. However, a study conducted by Travis Heggie, an assistant professor from the University of North Dakota, said “poor judgment” was the most common factor.

Heggie’s research indicated that there were more than 4,700 medical calls in Utah’s national parks and 79 fatalities. The National Park Service (NPS) said it couldn’t verify Heggie’s numbers, but they did seem to coincide with NPS records.

Heggie told the AP that he hopes his research will help people understand before they enter the wilderness that they need to be prepared for a multitude of situations.

“People seem to underestimate how physically demanding or challenging the wilderness is,” Brian Duffy, president of the Southern Arizona Rescue Association, told USA Today. “I think they also overestimate their own ability.”

The National Park Service spent $4.7 million in 2007 conducting search and rescue operations and helping stranded or injured visitors around the country.

So, what’s the lesson here? You may want to do a little planning, and trainning before your Utah Canyonlands Trip this summer.


Enjoy the outdoors and love getting out into the backcountry.

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