I’ve often been asked to be the “trusted person” by friends who are on trips, especially those who are not married, or have no family nearby. And yes, I take it seriously – while I give a little extra time (because things do happen), if morning comes after the day your trip is supposed to end, and I haven’t heard from you – and you are not answering your phone or email, I would report you. This nearly got a “friend” a call because they went on a solo 2 night trip, but decided to come out the first night….and never updated me. It was rude, and then they didn’t answer their phone. As I was about to call it in, when Monday rolled around, said friend decided to finally check in as they showed up at work. Their excuse was something of “I didn’t feel like it”, that it would have been a pain to send a 4 word text, ya know.
It goes both ways: if you ask someone to do this for you, and you change plans, you must tell them. However, I still happily do this for others, even with one rotten apple. And a form is much easier to fill out and give to them, rather than a windy email or text as you drive to a remote trailhead. I used to leave some less than stellar ones for Kirk “Oh, I’ll be at this trailhead and bye!!” as I lost cell reception.
And don’t knock doing this….there have been many cases where people went hiking, and didn’t tell anyone. And no one knows they are missing until 2-4 days in, when they don’t show up for work. And then, search and rescue has to even figure out where maybe, just maybe, this person even is by looking for cars at trailheads. That can eat up days of searching! There was a case here locally a few years back that it took days to find the missing hiker’s car, then they finally were able to get searching. It turned out she had gotten turned around, and thought she was hiking out, but instead kept walking farther in and got very, very lost. She was very miserable, but thankfully alive a good 5+ days later!
An easy to print and fill out 2 page wilderness trip itinerary form – a copy for your notes and one for a trusted person. Click on the photos, or the link, to view the printable PDF.