THE EDITOR: It is unfortunate we have lost a brother on the hiking trail.
My condolences to the bereaved family. He died doing what he loved.
I remember making that same trek in 1979. I wish therefore to offer some timely advice:
* Ensure the hiking guide is competent.
A member of the Hiking Guides Association.
Not just someone with a cutlass. Everyone is an expert.
* Ensure the hike is suitable for all.
* Communicate with the police station in the area on arrival and departure.
* Be fit.
* Wear appropriate footwear and clothing. This is not a fashion show.
* Have a map of the area and compass.
* Wear a hat.
* Use a backpack. Have your hands free.
* Wear sunglasses.
* Take along extra food, water.
* Have rain gear and extra clothing.
* Take along matches, a torchlight and a whistle.
* Have a first aid kit and a qualified first aider.
* Have a knife or multipurpose tool.
* Stick together, this is not a race.
* Maintain regular checks on all personnel.
When things go well everyone wants to take the credit. When something goes wrong nobody is responsible.
We need a buddy system. Why and how was this brother able to slip away?
We must ensure a similar accident never happens again. We all need to learn from this. My safety, your safety is our responsibility.