Hiking is one of the best outdoor activities that we could go for. Apart from sightseeing, we get to improve our physical fitness and increase environmental awareness. However, hikers are often advise not to wander off the trail as it is easy to get lost in the woods.
Recently, a Singaporean man was reported missing after losing his way while hiking in the Panti Timur Forest Reserve, near Kota Tinggi.
According to Bernama, Kota Tinggi district Police Chief Supt Hussin Zamora said the police received a report of the missing man from his friend, who went hiking with him, at 3.26 pm on Saturday (17 September).
Hussin said the missing man is Jason Ren Jie, who is in his 30s.
“They started climbing at around 11.30 am. The complainant said he was separated from the victim at about 1 pm when both of them got separated at a location while climbing.”
“The complainant walked first while the victim waited behind. However, after 30 minutes of waiting, the victim failed to appear. The complainant tried to locate his friend but failed to do so,” he said.
Upon receiving the report, the search and rescue team from the Batu Ampat Police Station were dispatched to the scene of the incident to locate the missing hiker.
The operation was also assisted by the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department from the Kota Tinggi Fire and Rescue station, as well as the Kota Tinggi Forestry Department.
“As of 11.30 last night, the victim has not yet been found and the search and rescue operation was suspended temporarily as it was too dark and made the search difficult. The operation resumes,” he said.
Hussin then advised the public who intend to go hiking, especially in the forest reserve area, to obtain a permit from the Kota Tinggi district forestry office first and inform the nearest police station to avoid such incidents from recurring.
Also, entering a forest reserve without a valid permit is an offence under the National Forestry Act 1984 (Amendment).
What to do if you get lost during hiking?
In an unfortunate event if you get lost while tracking, here’s a step-by-step instructional of what to do.
- Stop Walking. Take a deep breath, so you can slow your racing mind.
- Consider turning off your phone.
- Try to retrace your steps.
- Orient yourself with a compass.
- Gauge your distance.
- Consider your options.
- Enact your plan of action.
Meanwhile, it is also advisable to check with a local ranger to discuss trail conditions and get information on general trail conditions that may be helpful before you get on hiking.