Search and Rescue

Carolina Mountain Club -- Search and Rescue Crew

Haywood County, NC, is home to dozens of miles of trails, including popular routes within two federally-designated wilderness areas as well as portions of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  As such, calls from lost and/or injured hikers are relatively frequent.  Haywood County Search and Rescue, an all-volunteer organization that answers many of these calls, approached Carolina Mountain Club with the hope that interested CMC members would be able to assist in searches extending into multiple days.  Members would not be expected to perform difficult, dangerous, or technical missions, but lend otherwise skilled assistance to large, complex operations once the pool of initial searchers becomes depleted.  Thus was born the Carolina Mountain Club Search and Rescue Crew.  If you are an avid hiker or trail maintainer looking for another avenue to be of service to the local hiking community, the CMC SAR team may be for you!

Crew members receive instruction on par with the basic training provided by most SAR teams in the US.  Navigation (map, compass, GPS, etc.), shelter-building, cold-weather survival, search strategies, and leadership skills are some of the areas covered by the crew’s required training events.  

Prospective crew members demonstrate their physical fitness by performing a standard pack test (20-pound pack; travel 3 miles in 45 minutes).  They spend the rest of the day with the crew directors and other crew members learning and perfecting their navigation and woodcraft skills.  The completion of four online FEMA courses on emergency management and response is another requirement.  Once fully qualified, crew members continue perfecting their skills via team-specific training events.  Members are also invited and encouraged to attend the Haywood SAR team twice-monthly trainings.   

If you are interested in learning more about the CMC SAR team please contact the crew leaders at

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