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Plan for a Day Hike, Part 4

Posted on : 04-06-2009 | By : admin | In :


Give Someone Your Itinerary & Check-In Time

This rule is absolutely essential. Think of it this way, if no one knows that you are gone hiking, then if you have trouble, no one will know to send help.

It is always good practice to let a reliable person know where you are hiking, what your plans are, and a time by which if they do not hear from you they should attempt to contact you first, then contact the authorities for help.

Because your likelihood of being located is increased dramatically if the search occurs during the daylight hours, you should do your hikes in the morning. This way, if you are injured or otherwise stuck, your check-in time will pass while there is still light out. This will allow the authorities to coordinate a rescue the same day. Trust me, this beats having to spend a night out in the bush when you hadn’t planned on it.

Here’s a few pointers about how to do this. First, be very specific with the person who is your check-in. Tell them exactly where you are going. Make sure they understand the location. Send them a map through email if you have to.

Also, be clear on what route you plan on taking. Even though it might seem fun to take a different route when you hike, don’t forget that if someone has to come looking for you, they are going to start looking where you were supposed to be and it might be a day or more before they get to search areas where you “might” have wandered to.

Next, be very realistic with yourself about your check-in time. If you think it will take you four hours to hike, then make your check-in time six hours. The last thing you want to happen is you be hiking out of the trail when a search and rescue team is hiking in. Always give yourself extra time. If you are sticking to the trail, then you will be easily found.

Finally, don’t forget to call your check-in. You will put someone through some serious stress if you don’t call them when you are supposed to. You’ll feel pretty bad when they call you and you are at home drinking a glass of water with your boots off and they are freaking out. Also, it might be the last time that person acts as your check-in.

Enjoy the Hike and Be Safe

The last part of this is simple, enjoy the hike and be safe. Always remember that it is up to you to have fun and to be safe. Hiking is an incredible experience and can be very fulfilling. Just make sure that you are adequately prepared and you will have a blast.

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