‘Something can go wrong:’ Jackson County ranger on summer hiking safety – WIBW

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. (KCTV) – Fleming Park draws more than a million visitors every year. This week, one of those trips turned tragic.

Loved ones reported a hiker missing Sunday night.

“It’s a lot more difficult to navigate,” said Capt. Mark Houston, a Jackson Co. park ranger. “It’s harder to see any trail signs that are there, and it’s easier to get disoriented so you don’t know which way you’re going or which way you came from.”

Rescuers found the man dead in a wooded area near Lake Jacomo Monday afternoon. Authorities have not released his name or a cause of death.

Houston has been with the department for more than three decades.

“Be aware that, even though it is an urban park, you can get lost and you can get hurt,” he said. “Take all the precautions you can.”

He suggests precautions like bringing plenty of water, sunscreen and bug spray. He also suggests downloading a trail map app and letting someone know when you’re leaving and when you expect to get back.

If you find yourself in trouble, he said: “Stay where you are so you don’t get more lost and so you don’t panic and twist your ankle and get hurt. Call, bring up your phone and the programs. Be able to pin and know how to share it. You can share it with county dispatchers or our people, and then we can guide rescue into you.”

The park is surrounded by residential areas and businesses. Its perimeter touches Blue Springs neighborhoods and it’s about two miles from I-470.

However, Houston said that proximity doesn’t stop something like this from happening.

“Even though you’re in the city, something can go wrong,” he said.

Previous coverage:

Lost hiker found dead following search in wooded area at Lake Jacomo

Source: https://www.wibw.com/2022/07/13/something-can-go-wrong-jackson-county-ranger-summer-hiking-safety/

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