Tips to keep hikers from getting lost

Recently I spent two days searching for Amanda Eller and felt personally engaged with the many people in the Maui community who pulled together looking for her. We are greatly relieved that she has been rescued and will recover.

As an aftermath of her rescue, many ideas have been put forth about how to avoid such problems in the future. Cellphones are important, but it is far more important to go with a knowledgeable person (a friend or a hiking guide) the first time you visit an unfamiliar trail. Don’t go alone on a new trail. There is safety in numbers. If there had been another person with Amanda, perhaps someone would have been able to give her location, or they could have helped each other be rescued. If you seek to be alone, you can briefly sit by yourself as long as some other person knows where you are. Once you know an area well, it is relatively safe to visit trails that are frequented by a number of people, such as beach paths, neighborhood roads, or country lanes such Thompson Road.

Having led hikes for over 20 years, I have recently made it a practice to go with at least one other person to Kahakapao due to the challenging introduction of new biking trails.

Paula Sandefur