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#182928 - 09/23/09 04:06 PM Leaving a note before hitting the trail
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
What message do you leave with your SO or other contact(s) before hitting the trail or traveling alone?

As sometimes silly as it seems especially when I hit the same trails multiple times, I leave a comprehensive list with DW on the kitchen table. It begins with a modified military 5 point contingency plan called a GOTWA.

Where I am Going.
Others going with me.
Time I will be back.
What gear I have if I get in trouble.
Actions to take if I don't come back.

For Example:

I am going to hike Carney Springs trail. Walking on trail by 0600.
I am going alone.
I will be off trail and back in phone range by noon.
I have water, food and survival equipment with me, see gear list attachment.
If I don't contact you by 3pm, call Lost Dutchman state park #123-456-7890. Give them all attached info.


The next pages are:
My vehicle description and plate number.

I always hand write a gear checklist to double check all the gear I am taking with me and leave this with the packet. This is item by item including how much food and water. It includes what I am wearing that day and the color. This way SAR knows what to look for and how prepared I am for an extended period of time for night time or weather conditions.

If I have GPS waypoints from previous trips or copy of the map or an online description of the trail, I will include what I can. With longer trips I list a bug out direction in case of trouble. If SAR knows that if I am in trouble and can/should move I will move in a cardinal direction (N,S,E,W) to a handrail that follows along the whole hike like a river, road or tracks. This way they can cover a long rally point before going to a grid or blind search. That's a big paragraph to just really say, "If I am in trouble I am heading East to Boulder creek."

Now that I have written this out, its much longer than I thought for really a simple discussion question.

How do you do it?
_________________________
Don't just survive. Thrive.

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#182929 - 09/23/09 04:11 PM Re: Leaving a note before hitting the trail [Re: comms]
oldsoldier Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 742
Loc: MA
I leave the same message. I send one to my girlfriend, one to my mom, and one to my sister. With my ETA home, I will contact at least one of them; they usually call each other to see if I checked in. Additionally, I leave a note in the car, on the front seat, as to where I am going, what I have, and my return time/date. So far, the system has worked for me. But, I USUALLY dont get lost-turned around, sometimes, but NEVER lost.
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my adventures

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#182931 - 09/23/09 04:32 PM Re: Leaving a note before hitting the trail [Re: oldsoldier]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1076
Loc: Channeled Scablands
I leave one on the dashboard of my car saying

"Joe-Bob, Out site-ing in the new rifle, be back in a couple of hours."


Edited by clearwater (09/23/09 04:35 PM)

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#182932 - 09/23/09 04:43 PM Re: Leaving a note before hitting the trail [Re: clearwater]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 857
Loc: Colorado
I also include the expected driving route and where I might park if I know that info.

You covered the who-to-call and when-to-call info already.


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#182933 - 09/23/09 04:45 PM Re: Leaving a note before hitting the trail [Re: unimogbert]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Clearwater, how do they know where your vehicle will be? Do they even know you're gone? Surely you leave more info than that!

Sue

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#182941 - 09/23/09 05:23 PM Re: Leaving a note before hitting the trail [Re: Susan]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1076
Loc: Channeled Scablands
I leave more than that at home, a photo copy of the map with
area circled for one.

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#182942 - 09/23/09 05:26 PM Re: Leaving a note before hitting the trail [Re: NightHiker]
7point82 Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/24/05
Posts: 478
Loc: Oklahoma
I leave a note with the wife when I'm hiking/hunting overnight but WOW NightHiker you put mine to shame!
_________________________
"There is not a man of us who does not at times need a helping hand to be stretched out to him, and then shame upon him who will not stretch out the helping hand to his brother." -Theodore Roosevelt

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#182943 - 09/23/09 05:37 PM Re: Leaving a note before hitting the trail [Re: Susan]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2026
Loc: NE Illinois
Originally Posted By: Susan
Clearwater, how do they know where your vehicle will be? Do they even know you're gone? Surely you leave more info than that!

Sue


Sue - I don't think you're getting the joke. He's writing a note saying that he's carrying a rifle and will be back to the vehicle any time now --- just in case anyone thinks about messing around with the vehicle.

My note might say "Decided to test out the new shotgun in the clearing just down the trail. If you don't hear any shots fired that means I'm on my way back to the vehicle. ... signed Your buddy from cell block A."

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#182944 - 09/23/09 05:51 PM Re: Leaving a note before hitting the trail [Re: KenK]
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
@Nighthiker.

Great GOTWA. Because I spent so many words describing the thread I didn't list out my kit. You doing so is a great illustration of how I also do it.

@Clearwater. thanks for the laugh.

For General Purpose. I don't actually leave anything in my car about my whereabouts. I suppose b/c I have parked in sketchy, non-secure areas and don't want people to know how far gone I might be.

Conversely, a friend who did do this also left in his car an imprint of his footwear tread on a piece of aluminum foil for SAR to know what footprint to look for. He would just lay a sheet down and step on it and leave it on the front seat.
_________________________
Don't just survive. Thrive.

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#182950 - 09/23/09 06:22 PM Re: Leaving a note before hitting the trail [Re: KenK]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1076
Loc: Channeled Scablands
And you should see what Joe-Bob carries!

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