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1. Bring plenty of extra water
2. Bring plenty of food
3. First Aid Kit
4. Large trash bag or tarp
(for shelter)
5. Whistle
6. Lip Balm
7. Sun Screen
8. Signaling Mirror
9. Proper Clothing & Footwear
10. Flashlight

If planning a day or overnight hike let someone know by either word of mouth or a short note stating where you will be starting your hike and what time you plan leave and return. You can also register with the forestry service or sign your name to the trail log.

As an insurance policy, the smart hiker will leave a sample of their foot print at home or with the forestry service so that he or she can be tracked if necessary. This is accomplished by taking ordinary piece of aluminum foil, placing it on a folded towel and then taking a careful step on the foil. This leaves a very nice impression of your shoe print that the search and rescue team can use to find you. (Neat huh?)

Items to consider...

  • Tell Someone Where You Are Going. A timetable, itinerary, vehicle description, a list of outer clothing and tent colors, and a copy of a map of where you are going should be left with family friends, etc.
  • Party Size. A party of four is ideal. A party of two should be considered the minimum. Soloists must understand the risks of "going it alone." Make sure you have enough experienced people along to manage a group of novices.
  • Companions. Choose them carefully. Consider experience, judgment, and physical condition. Parties with members of similar abilities usually perform best together. The slowest person should set the pace for the group.
  • Planning. A must. Current information from maps, guidebooks, park and forest service personnel and those who have been there before can be helpful in trip planning.
  • If you become lost. Stop and think! Backtrack if possible, trust your compass. Don't travel more than a short distance unless you know where you are going. If a search is initiated for you it will start at the point you were last seen. If conditions make travel impractical, seek shelter. Make your location visible with brightly colored items, fire, smoke, stamping words out in the snow, etc. Make noise. Use a whistle, firearm, shouts, etc. Three sounds in a row (whistle blasts, gunshots, etc.) is recognized distress signal. Shelter, warmth, and water are more important than food.