Sometimes, even when you do everything right, help still can’t get to you. A Hillsborough man was found dead this weekend in the Emigrant Wilderness that borders Yosemite after authorities reported receiving the signal from a personal locator beacon.
The Modesto Bee: “Rescue teams found the body of 42-year-old Christopher Andrews near Iceland Lake on Monday afternoon, three days after the state Office of Emergency Services reported a personal locating beacon emitting an emergency signal from the area.
The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department says weather and poor accessibility to the site delayed the search. The beacon signal went dead on Sunday, possibly due to a failing battery.”
Personal locator beacons are exactly what they sound like, a way to call for help if you’re in the back country. Most often they’re used by skiers and snow shoe enthusiasts who often venture into avalanche country but the pocket sized devices have made their way into the backpacks of millions of hikers as a little extra safety measure.
You should always be sure you carry the basics when traveling into the back country (anywhere help is not IMMEDIATELY available), even the more traveled trails of Yosemite like the Mist Trail, Yosemite Falls, and Half Dome. Take plenty of water in STURDY containers, some way to treat fresh water if you need it, medical kit, space blanket, a mirror for signaling, a small flashlight, a strong knife, and most importantly, a level head on your shoulders.