As I’ve mentioned before, the most important thing to realize when you leave for an expedition, is that there are people other than you who would really like for you to return home! It is often mentioned that you should let someone know where you’re headed, before you go to the bush, yet few outdoorsmen follow this rule! As for my next expedition, the Gila 100, I’ll be letting a few thousand people know via the internet. But what should others do? What if you don’t have an adventure travel blog? Of course there’s always the option to rent a satellite phone, like I’ll be doing, but that can get awfully pricey! Luckily, there’s now a free option online for anyone considering a trip into the bush!
I recently came across the website alloutdoorforum.com, which is dedicated to doing just that! On the website there's an option to "plan your trip." There, you can write up your trip's itinerary, and list up to 5 emergency contacts. It's incredibly simple, but could very well save your life! Here's how it works: You fill in the itinerary, and emergency contacts by using the "plan your trip" option that I just mentioned. When you leave for your trip, the system will keep track when you had originally intended to be home. If you don't get home and turn off the timer at your scheduled time, an email will be sent out to your contacts to inform them that you haven't come home.
Some may say that this is unnecessary, or a waist of time. I've even heard some say that they don't want anyone knowing where they are, just for privacy. The way I see it, you're better off letting others know where you are! Never let your pride get in the way of your safety! Always leave a trip itinerary! Now that we have the easy, simple way of doing so through alloutdoorforum.com, you’ve got no excuse not to! An estimated 50,000 search and rescue operations take place each year, and you don't want to be a part them!
Though I’ll be carrying a satellite phone with me on the trip, I’ll definitely be registering my trip with alloutdoorforum.com, just as a backup! On the plus side, the emergency emails will be sent out even if I’m unconscious somewhere in the woods, or if I lose my sat phone (let’s hope I don’t do that! That would be pricey!). If all I had was the sat phone for emergencies, it could take days for people to start searching for me, or even realize that something is wrong.
Thanks for reading! I feel like the expedition is moving forward well, but I won’t be completely relieved until I get to New Mexico. That’s when the real work begins! In closing, I feel the need to repeat myself! Always let an emergency contact know where you’re going. This goes for day hikes, week long backpacking trips, short runs, or absolutely any other outdoor activity! Remember, there are people back home that would really love to see you again!