Safety Check-in

Share your tips for safe hiking, surviving in the wild and managing hiking injuries!
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aiwetir
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Safety Check-in

Post by aiwetir » July 14th, 2015, 12:35 am

For day hikes, my wife and I hike together and are pretty experienced and careful, but we have been a bit cavalier about telling anyone where we are going or having a safety check-in at the end of the day.

I don't anticipate ever getting lost on a day hike but I do imagine injuries etc.

What do people do here generally?

I recognize any safety check-in would have to be with someone willing to come get you or handle directing the authorities to where you might be which I cannot at the moment think of anyone I would want to put that burden upon. A SPOT locator would very nearly put this same burden on someone as I'd only every use the SOS button in a real emergency.

Do we have a network here on the forum for this that I missed?
- Michael

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retired jerry
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Safety Check-in

Post by retired jerry » July 14th, 2015, 5:21 am

I leave itinerary with wife

Specify which trails I will be on. I stick to that pretty closely, although I often do a little less

I try to call her daily, but cell phone doesn't always work. I should get satellite device.

If I don't arrive home at specified day she's supposed to notify authorities

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vibramhead
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Joined: November 15th, 2009, 10:52 am
Location: SW Portland

Re: Safety Check-in

Post by vibramhead » July 14th, 2015, 5:38 am

I carry a Delorme Inreach Explorer satellite communicator. Most of my hikes are solo, and carrying this gadget gives my wife a lot of comfort.

There's an app you can use called HikerAlert, which sort of automates the "check in" process, but you still need to have someone who can take responsibility for acting if you don't check in. I haven't used it.
Time spent hiking will not be deducted from your life.

GPS tracks on Wikiloc.

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texasbb
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Location: Tri-Cities, WA

Re: Safety Check-in

Post by texasbb » July 14th, 2015, 5:39 am

I too leave an itinerary with a loved one, usually one of my kids. It contains:
  • My planned route plus any deviations from it that are likely.
  • The planned dates of my hike and the date/time I expect to be out.
  • The date/time after which they should call for help (which may be up to a day later than the expected out time).
  • The name, address, and phone number of the relevant Forest Service office or other authority over the area I'll be hiking in.
  • Instructions on how to call for help (911 first...).
  • Details on myself to be given to SAR if necessary (I also keep a copy of this in my car at the trailhead):
    • My height, weight, age, hair color, etc.
    • Make, model, and license of my trailhead car.
    • Cell phone number.
    • Description of primary gear (tent and backpack...I give the brand/model and color).
    • Description of any health issues or medications I'm taking.
    • A picture of my shoeprint.
The idea is to make it easy for my family to deal with the situation if they need to call for help. They'll be nervous enough--I don't want them to have to run around figuring out who to call, what to tell them, etc. I email the itinerary in PDF form so they can forward it to SAR if asked. It's really not that hard to do; I reuse the same template and just change the trip details each time.

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kaltbluter
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Joined: June 2nd, 2014, 10:36 am

Re: Safety Check-in

Post by kaltbluter » July 14th, 2015, 5:57 am

texasbb wrote:A picture of my shoeprint.
I have never thought of that, sounds useful though.

I email an estimated itinerary to a loved one. I also have a SPOT for my wife's peace of mind since I almost always hike solo.

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retired jerry
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Re: Safety Check-in

Post by retired jerry » July 14th, 2015, 6:11 am

That Delorme looks pretty good

Kind of expensive, plus monthly fee plus per message fee

I wish it had a full function GPS - shows topo map, captures track of where you've been

Throw in camera as long as I'm throwing things in :)

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vibramhead
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Location: SW Portland

Re: Safety Check-in

Post by vibramhead » July 14th, 2015, 7:33 am

retired jerry wrote:That Delorme looks pretty good

Kind of expensive, plus monthly fee plus per message fee

I wish it had a full function GPS - shows topo map, captures track of where you've been

Throw in camera as long as I'm throwing things in :)
Actually, it's a pretty full-function GPS when you use with the Earthmate app on a smartphone. It records a track, and the Delorme maps on the app are pretty good, and you don't pay for them. It is kind of expensive, but one of the subscription plans allows you to just have it active during the months of heavy use, and suspend it the rest of the year. That's what I do, and I carry a PLB the rest of the year. During the summer months, I have the Recreation Plan, which costs $35/mo and gives you unlimited tracking, unlimited preset messages, and 40 custom messages.
Time spent hiking will not be deducted from your life.

GPS tracks on Wikiloc.

rolled
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Joined: May 15th, 2015, 11:28 am

Re: Safety Check-in

Post by rolled » July 14th, 2015, 7:38 am

I was given one of those SPOT locators 10 years ago, and other than looking at it, never opened the box again. It seems like overkill to me for most Oregon hikes. A good topo wall map with a few pins to mark my area is what i usually leave behind. A good pocket map, compass, and the knowledge of how to use both will make sure no one has to come looking for you though. Study some wilderness first aid as well, no one should need rescue due to a twisted ankle.

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retired jerry
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Re: Safety Check-in

Post by retired jerry » July 14th, 2015, 7:46 am

$35 a month is pretty good. 40 custom messages and unlimited preset messages should be plenty for me

I have so far avoided getting a smart phone. I waste plenty of time on computer already. I could follow oregonhikers.org while I'm driving around????

Maybe if I spent more time away from home? It sounds sort of fun for millennials to constantly communicate with their friends though :) I'm just a stuck in his ways curmudgeon :lol:

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Koda
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Re: Safety Check-in

Post by Koda » July 14th, 2015, 7:53 am

I email my wife my itinerary with the idea she forwards that email to SAR team if I don't make it back.

Email contains my approximate itinerary, cell number, vehicle and plate number, people, specific gear (if needed, ropes etc.) specifically my Garmin GPS has a 2-way radio the channel I would be on for SAR to reach me and I can beam them my waypoint, and lastly a link to a browser map where I usually draw out an approximate route especially if going off trail.

e.g.: http://www.hillmap.com/m/ag1zfmhpbGxtYX ... ICg6bPdCgw

IMO there is no reason not to take advantage of email, its coming directly from myself so nothing gets lost in translation under stress to the SAR team.


I like the idea of adding a photo of my boot print to the email thread.
lightweight, cheap, strong... pick 2

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