Staying safe travelling the North

The heartbreaking news of Sean David Kuntz body found in the Fraser River is another tragedy added to the infamous reputation of the Highway of Tears.

Though police do not suspect foul play, one asks the question of how better can we as travellers stay safe along Hwy. 16?

I have not yet used the new BC Transit bus service to travel to Smithers or Burns Lake, but my heart holds a little more space for peace knowing that things are being done to possibly reduce the rate of tragic murders along the highway and provide an overall general safety for travelling.

Perhaps through the RCMP’s investigation of Kuntz untimely death, we can come to learn more about the unforgiving forces of nature.

As someone that is fond of cycling, and has many friends that frequently travel long distance by bicycle, I know that living in in the north comes with the the imperative that we must educate ourselves in how to stay safe when we voyage in this province, especially alone.

Just like knowing how to swim is vital when you live in a province that is surrounded by lakes and rivers, I think it is just as equally as important to have safe knowledge of travelling when cycling or camping.

Next month I am taking a two week kayak camping trip with a friend of mine to Gwaii Haanas, and for the past three months she has been educating me on kayak safety, navigation, and camping essentials.

Though I have taken the outdoor education course in high-school and have done many kayak and camping trips in my lifetime, it is a lot different when the safety and planning of these trips falls on you and not your instructor.

We should not be arrogant to think that we’ll always be able to improvise well enough to get ourselves out of danger.

No amount of knowledge can guarantee complete safety and survival. The human condition to adapt is the best trait we have as a species, and education is the component to further enhance that.

On behalf of Houston Today I would like to extend my condolences to the friends and family of Kuntz. May his adventurous soul rest well with the wild ones.

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