Map, Compass & GPS

Map, Compass & GPS
Wild flowers along Fall Creek on the way to the Green Lakes - Oregon

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Hikers Trip Plan

An important element to any backcountry outing is letting that "responsible person" know when you are going and when you will return.  As a SAR team member I can tell you that valid detailed information is critical to help with the search effort.

That is great.  But the the question worth asking is what do you tell the "responsible person?"  Who should that person be?

The "responsible person" should be a person who will take your request seriously and make that decision to call 911; with out hesitation.  There should be a frank discussion of just what you want that person to do and when to do it.  The "responsible person" will call 911 and only 911 to get the search going.  After calling 911 that person can then call family and friends.

Key to this conversation is giving the "responsible person" your trip plan.  Consider the trip plan to be your flight plan in the wilderness.  The devil is in the details and you truely can't provide to much information.  After the Kim family trajedy in Oregon in 2006 I developed a trip plan.  My resourses were books (June Fleming's Staying Found), a trip plan from the State of Colorado and conversations with experienced backcountry travelers.  A .pdf copy of my trip plan is here.  I will also proivide a copy the topographic map of the area will be in.

Outdoor and Survival writer Leon Pantenburg has a great article on this here.

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