Tell someone where you are going, the trails you are hiking, when you will return and your emergency plans.
Your hike begins before you reach the trailhead. It’s important that you research, write down and distribute your plan before you leave. Include:
• how many people are in your hiking party, their names, ages and any unique factors (medications taken, chronic diseases such as diabetes, or disabilities)
• equipment, gear and the amount of food and water you have with you
• description of clothing individuals are wearing
• whether you’re hiking with an animals, such as a dog – if so, give the name and description.
• hike start date and time
• hike return date and time (give yourself a cushion so emergency services aren’t called if you’re a little late)
• trailhead names and connectors
• turn around point
• GPS coordinates
• a photo of the bottom of your hiking boot
Discuss the plan and leave a copy of the plan with someone who is reliable and responsible, and who knows how, when and why to contact authorities.
If your plan changes, call this person! You don’t want a search and rescue team sent for you if not needed.