Improving security measures in national parks is essential to avoid human losses, according to the director of the Fundación Caminantes de Costa Rica, Raúl López, and the former director of the National Children’s Hospital and a hike fan, Dr. Rodolfo Hernández.
Both experts affirm that each national park must provide informative material with the topographic characteristics of the area; risk points, climatic changes, as well as informative talks.
They also suggest giving visitors a help kit that is included in the admission price. This should include: an electronic location device such as GPS, whistle and map of the area. Likewise, they advise closing the parks in the rainy season and making improvements in the signs, so that they are clear and prevent falls, slips and unforeseen events in general.
“The parks must also have an immediate search and rescue protocol, which includes the participation of the Search and Rescue Unit of the Red Cross and the Fire Department. In emergencies, time is essential, you cannot wait, that is why the parks must have this staff as soon as possibl ”, commented Dr. Hernández.
Remember that hikers must have prior training
Another option they propose is to request a professional proof that demonstrates the good physical condition of the hiker. “Those who join these adventures must comply with the previous training for the challenge; use suitable, comfortable clothing, appropriate shoes and aid equipment such as a cane, light bulb, compass, cape, lighter, blade and rope, this equipment according to the place to visit”, recalled López.
He added: “Trekkng is a natural action of human beings and what is fundamental in national parks is tourism and recreation. We must never exceed our limits or put our personal integrity at risk”.
Hernández and López are managing meetings with authorities of the National Institute of Tourism (ICT) and the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) to publicize their suggestions.