There is a lot of bad stuff on utube, but it didn't begin there.  A lot of visitors to the Great Outdoors are entering an unfamiliar environment, clueless about basic measure that will keep them safe.  After all, there are Rangers, right?  They will keep us safe from harm, won't they? How can there be hazards in a National Park?

These attitudes have been around for a long time, and probably have been supported by news and media accounts of successful rescues (the body recoveries get a lot less space).  Rarely is it mentioned that there is an inevitable lag time in any rescue operation, people may not be handy for any number of reasons, bad weather may be a problem, etc.  This doesn't happen in the movies, but is very frequent in Real Life.

For that matter, most, if not all, parks are understaffed, especially when it comes to field personnel.  SAR operations often depend on assistance from other organizations, not always a bad thing.

The uninformed will always be with us, but we can try to get the word out.  One of the nice things about REI is that it is a positive factor in this effort, by providing generally good gear and good info along with the goodies.

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