The Advantage Survival Podcast

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Free Trip Plan Form

January 23, 2013
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Let someone know before you go! After 25 years of Search and Rescue volunteer service here in Pierce County Washington. I know how important having good information on a search and rescue mission can be. Reflecting back on the hundreds of missions, many of which I was the Operations Leader (OL) for my Group, I know how having accurate information plays a roll in a successful search and rescue operation.

I’m on a mission to bring awareness to wilderness and backcountry travelers that being “alone” may cost you your life. I’m not talking about being a solo adventurer here. I’m talking about letting a responsible trusted person know when and where you’re going and when you will return. So, if you don’t return, they can call the authorities and report you overdue. At least then you’ll have a chance at rescue.

Realize, that a search and rescue mission is an emergency and time is of the essence. I know from experience that driving for hours and hours just trying to locate a vehicle of a overdue hiker so search and rescue has a Point-Last-Seen (PLS) is an incredible tragedy when you could have conveyed in writing  to that “responsible person” which trailhead you parked your vehicle at. Search and Rescue could have spent those hours searching for you, not your vehicle. That sucks if you or a loved-one is injured and needs medical aid. As a former search and rescue volunteer I have participated in this exercise of insanity many times. These stories of search and rescue are either going to have happy endings or sad endings. How do you want your adventure story to end?

Do yourself and Search and Rescue responders this service; take a few minutes to fill out a Wilderness Trip Plan Form. If not my form, then someones form and leave it with someone you trust. Your life may depend on it. Attach a copy of the map you’re going to use with your route highlighted. These simple steps can shave hours, even days off your potential rescue. Have the “Advantage” of “Survival”, be safe and be prepared.