Safety and having several backup plans are key when planning a trip. We designed a form a number of years ago that students fill out as part of our guide training curriculum for each excursion. You can get a .pdf of it here. The procedure is simple:
- Fill out three copies. Keep one with you, leave one in your vehicle, and give one to a responsible person you can count on to contact the authorities if you don’t return on time.
- Attach a sheet with the names and ages of all the people in the party.
- Attach a sheet with the proposed route, and another sheet showing the evacuation routes. These are places such as a road crossing on a river trip or alternate trails for mountain hiking where you could get back to civilization earlier than planned.
If you’re not back when you say you will be, the emergency contact person will know who to call and have all the information available.
Hopefully you’ll never need to use it, but if you do you’ll be prepared.