Winter Outdoor Recreation Safety Tips
Written by Marcus Heerdt
January 6, 2020

Thinking about getting out and enjoying the outdoors this winter season? Make sure that you are prepared! First of all, check out our new Winter Activities page on our website here:

On the first day of 2020, a man using a drone in the Custer area called 911 to report that he was lost. His drone was carried by the wind away from his location, so he decided to hike out to find it and subsequently became lost. Thankfully, Custer County Search and Rescue was able to find the man quickly. This situation could have been a lot worse with cold temperatures and shortened daylight hours in winter. The following are some winter safety tips with additional information provided by Custer County Search and Rescue.

Before you go, make sure you have these winter travel essentials in your car:

-Warm Clothing, snow boots, water and snacks, first aid and winter survival kit, an ice scraper, and a snow shovel. Also, make sure you have enough gas before heading out (more than a half tank is recommended). Find out more here:

Winter Recreation Tips:

-Stretch beforehand

-Make sure to tell someone where you are going when you plan to be back

-Dress in layers

-Outer layer should be wind/waterproof

-Drink plenty of fluids

-Bring a pack of winter gear

The Custer County Search and Rescue team responds to many emergency calls throughout the year. Some things they want you to be aware of are that trails look very different in the winter than in the summer – so be prepared and use good, up-to-date maps along with a compass. Also, dehydration can happen in the winter as well, so make sure to drink plenty of fluids.

Furthermore, do not be overconfident with your own abilities – the weather in the Black Hills can change very dramatically and quickly.

If stranded and in need of help, call 911 first before calling friends or family, especially if your cell phone has low battery. This helps emergency services locate you with GPS coordinates provided by your device.

Be safe out there!

Custer County Search and Rescue website:

Below are Custer County Search and Rescue winter training photos provided by Paul Horsted.

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