Don’t lose yourself in backcountry

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Don’t lose yourself in backcountry

Be prepared before leaving home, know what to do if you get lost
What to pack

MK Thompson, conservation education assistant at the San Juan Mountain Association, lists several essential items hikers and campers should have in their packs:
Map and compass.
Pocket knife or small multitool.
Whistle.
First-aid kit.
Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries.
Lighter and waterproof matches.
Ten feet or more of small strong cord.
Raincoat or poncho and extra warm clothing or a space blanket.
Extra food and water (or chlorine tablets if you know you can find water).
Sunglasses and sunscreen.

Don’t lose yourself in backcountry

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Instructor Tom Molinelli with Frosty Pines demonstrates how to build a fire near Vallecito Reservoir. Molinelli said the purpose of the class Lost in the Woods is to teach kids basic survival skills such as navigating, building shelters, making fire, foraging for food and finding water. In back from left are: Bailey Spangler, 11, volunteer Jessica Cook, and James Chenowith, 9. Bailey is the daughter of Mark Spangler and Kelly Sems, and James is the son of Jim and Nicola Chenowith.
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Students discover that in their zeal to get warm they have ripped their emergency blanket, during Lost in the Woods, a winter survival class for kids, held near Vallecito Reservoir. Students, from left, are Jessica George, 12; James Chenowith, 9; Paden Williamson, 10; and Bailey Spangler, 11. Jessica is the daughter of James and Trisha George. Paden is the son of Kendrick and Amanda Williamson.
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Volunteer Cameron Crofford, 13, walks past one of the shelters made during Lost in the Woods, a winter survival class for kids, held near Vallecito Reservoir. Cameron is the son of Tom Molinelli and Marcie Morgan.
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Instructor Tom Molinelli, left, said the purpose of Lost in the Woods is to teach kids basic survival skills such as navigating, building shelters, making fire, foraging for food and finding water.
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“Out in the elements like that, you can really die, really quickly,” said instructor Tom Molinelli, center, as he gives pointers on how to build a fire to Noah Spangler, 12, left, and Cooper Williamson, 7, right, during Lost in the Woods, a winter survival class for kids, conducted near Vallecito Lake. Noah is the son of Mark Spangler and Kelly Sems, and Cooper is the son of Kendrick and Amanda Williamson.
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Volunteer Jessica Cook, left, Bailey Spangler, 11, and volunteer Cameron Crofford, 13, try sheep sorrel during Lost in the Woods, a winter survival class for kids, held near Vallecito Reservoir. Bailey is the daughter of Mark Spangler and Kelly Sems, and Cameron is the son of Tom Molinelli and Marcie Morgan.
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Nine-year-old James Chenowith warms his hands after helping build a shelter and find water during Lost in the Woods, a winter survival class for kids, held near Vallecito Reservoir. James is the son of Jim and Nicola Chenowith.
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Instructor Tom Molinelli says clean, giardia-free drinking water can be found when you dig a hole near a stream. Morgan Crofford, 10, watches Tom, his dad, at a winter survival class for kids held near Vallecito Reservoir.
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