Officials: Don't rely 100% on a GPS

Officials: Don't rely 100% on a GPS »Play Video

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. -- The rain and cooler weather is here, and with Winter around the corner, Douglas County Search & Rescue officials are reminding people to be prepared when doing outdoor activities.

Oregonians love to enjoy the beautiful scenery that surrounds them, but every year law enforcement agencies must search for people who get lost and don't return home.

"One of the most significant things in Oregon is the weather, and as the weather changes, they need to be more aware of making sure they carry the proper gear with them," said Wayne Stinson of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

Stinson says carrying a map and compass and knowing how to use them together is important. "Cell phones often times don't work in remote areas. GPS, especially those used in vehicles, they tend to route people on roads that aren't gravel, aren't paved or not maintained during winter months," he said.

He says the most important thing he wants people to remember is have a plan and tell someone where you are, so if you do deviate from the path, it will be easier to find you.

In short, Wayne says, "Don't let them out of the house unless they tell you where they are going."

There are devices that use satellite signals to help rescuers pinpoint where you are, but they can be pricey.

Stinson says the best rule of thumb is be smart, take food, water, extra clothes and have a travel partner to enjoy the journey with.