Tell Someone where you're going and why.
So you've planned a trip with a couple of friends. Weather looks great for most of the weekend but coming in bad mid day on your way out Sunday. Should be OK. You've been doing some fitness training and feeling good. Got all your gear sorted and food organised. You've tested out that everything fits in your pack and is all in dry bags. Walking into The Green lake hut Thursday, out Sunday afternoon. Be home by 5-6pm. But have a action plan for what to do if not home by 8pm.
Have a plan, a map of your trip so everyone knows where you are going.
A really important thing to do is also tell someone where you are going and when you will be back. Why you ask?
Telling someone that is trust worthy, could be Mum or Dad, brother or sister, good friend or flatmate even a work college that you have gone off into the back country is important. If something should happen to you all going well they will notify the Police if you don't make it out or home by a certain time, ie, 8pm Sunday evening.
For example the drive to get to where you are going could take a few hours and you know sometime Sunday the weather is going to get nasty. However heavy rain and high winds that have come in unexpectedly and suddenly the weather has caused a landslide and you are stuck on the other side of the slip and trapped, the road is blocked. You are not going to make it home tonight by 8pm and there is no cell phone coverage.
When the weather turns bad and you get stuck out and can't make it home. Hopefully that 'trustworthy' one will alert the authorities.
Hopefully the 8pm Sunday evening deadline you told (that trustworthy one) calls the Police and advises them you are overdue. The Police will then go about taking details from (the trustworthy one) You will have given them the details of where you are going etc and the Police will start there process to find you.
Now it is important that the details you gave your trustworthy one are true and accurate as to where you are going. It is no use telling them your going for a hike up in the Green Lake hut then decide to go over the West coast to hike up the Copeland valley track. The Police will go to the Green Lake area to search for you but you are not there. It makes it pretty hard for them to find you and as you never made it to the Green Lake car park they may think your vehicle has gone off the road somewhere between your home and the Green Lake so this will tie up resources.
Search and Rescue looking for a lost person.
Now more Police, Land Search And Rescue volunteers ( Search and Rescue), helicopters all looking for your vehicle that is infact at the car park at the start of the Copeland track. The Police, and lots of others will be pissed when you get home and that's why it is important to go to the place you are going to go to. Or worst still on driving home from going to the Copeland tack you do have an accident going off the road into dense bush. If you are badly hurt, no-one is coming looking for you. There is a high probability if you have sustained bad injuries you are going to die. You are on your own. You might have a chance of survival if you have a Personal Locator Beacon and can activate it.
Now let's assume you are at Green lake car park. The important thing here is that even though you can't get home due to the landslide, you are still safe and as long as you are there the Police and Search And Rescue will be just happy finding you alive and letting family/friends know you are OK. So the details you leave your trustworthy one are important.
In this situation, the landslide has blocked the road and you can't get home. you may have a Personal locator beacon (PLB), do you activate it? no, you're not at risk, you're just not going to make it home tonight. You've probably got food and water, your dry and warm in your vehicle so just wait it out. You should only activate your Personal Locator Beacon if you or others are in need of assistance for an absolute emergency, as in a life or death situation that if you don't activate it you or someone could die. A Personal Locator Beacon activation means you should have a rescue helicopter or Search And Rescue team with you within a hour, all going well and depending on conditions.
Personal Locator Beacons or PLB, well worth investing in.
So, is it important to tell someone where you are going? absolutely. Even with my 35 odd years of experience accidents can still happen. Yes I carry a Personal Locator Beacon but I still tell my wife where I'm going and when I'll be home, just incase.
Even carrying a Personal Locator Beacon, carry it so you can get it at any time. So that might be in a small pouch on your belt or attached to you pack strap, maybe in your pocket. If you are carrying it in your pack and you have an accident and for whatever reason you can't get into your pack or it's out of reach then you can't activate your Personal Locator Beacon. But you can if it's in your pocket.
Even something as simple as pouch around your neck with your Personal Locator Beacon in could be difference between life or .....
I've said it before and I'll say it again a Personal Locator Beacon is worth every cent and more. I have friends alive today because they had a Personal Locator Beacon and its activation saved their lives. I've also got friends that aren't here now that if they had of had a Personal Locator Beacon they quite possibly would still be alive.