The number one thing to do before you go hiking is always tell someone where you are going to be going and when to expect you back. Leave them your detailed trip itinerary, and make sure YOU know your route and plan accordingly.
Nobody ever expects to get into trouble while hiking. But, a turn in the weather, mistake in judgment, unexpected injury, equipment failure, or sudden nightfall can quickly change your outing into a crisis.
Completing a trip plan is extremely important. It explains your destination, travel route, equipment and expected return time. It is vital information to assist authorities searching for you in the event of an emergency. If no one knows you are missing, no one will be looking for you.
So next time you are planning to head out, make sure you have packed the 10 Hiking Essentials and fill out this online trip plan form and print and/or email it to your emergency contacts to let them know your plans.