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Mount Lukens Aerial - Radio site towers

Our job involves working on two-way radio systems. This often requires us to drive to various mountain peaks at the end of long and difficult dirt roads. It has also become common for us to come to the rescue of hikers who are lost, exhausted, or dehydrated. I was just writing up another story that happened recently on Sunrise Mountain. Several times, hikers have approached me on Mount Lukens looking for water and directions. On a couple of occasions, they told me they were looking for Mount Thom (2,466.9 feet) when they were actually at Mount Lukens (5046 feet). We deliberately carry extra supplies on these trips in case we break down or get stranded, but often we end up giving a bottle of water to hikers who have overreached. Here are some safety tips that should be kept in mind when hiking.

1. Know where you are going. Have a GPS, maps, etc.   If you are not sure where you are going you may need to backtrack to your car.
2. Carry plenty of water. You will use more than normal. Watch your supply and have a plan in case you are running low. That may mean you don’t make it to the summit, but that is better than needing to be rescued.
3. Have a jacket in case the weather turns on you, or you end up out longer than expected. The mountains can turn very cold at night.
4. Have a communication device that works in the area you are going. You cell phone may  not work and an FRS radio probably doesn’t have the range needed. Plan ahead and consult someone who knows the territory.
5. Don’t travel alone and do not separate when you gen into trouble. A misstep can mean you won’t be able to walk out to safety and you will need someone to help you.
6. Know your capability. Pushing your limits a bit helps you get stronger but severely over estimating your capability can get you in serious trouble.

We are happy to help out when we run across someone in trouble, but we also wonder what would have happened if we had not been there by chance.

This is part of our collection of rescue stories:

A Trip to Sunrise Mountain

Rescuing General Telephone at Mt. Lukens

Rescuing LA RICS on Mt. Lukens

Saving Private (Citizen) Ryan

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