Phone a friend
Thinking about heading out for a hike soon? Make sure to let a friend or family member know where you are going and when you plan to return. Even if you are hiking with a partner or a group, you should always share your plans with someone that is not going along. This is your insurance plan if you get stranded or injured in the backcountry.
Leave a copy of a map of your destination or a list of specific trails, destinations, and dates with your friend or loved one. You should also provide contact information for search and rescue officials in case you do become injured or stranded.
Some hikers like to carry beacons that periodically inform friends and loved ones of your location. Services, such as SPOT, enable you to send messages by e-mail or text message if you need help.
Brad Smith is a member of the Idaho Trails Association and serves on the Board of Directors.