OB Approved Lost and Found: File a trip report!

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TRT87

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder II

1,450
Waipahu, HI
First Name
Tyler
Last Name
Tennies
Member #

9223

Lost and Found: File a trip report!

- Tyler Tennies

We as Overland Bound members love exploring. It’s a part of who we are, but what happens when we find ourselves with a broken vehicle, lost, or worse yet injured and alone? Exploring remote locations alone or in a small group can turn south quickly, despite all of our preparation. Even short day-trips can be life changing in an instant. Aron Ralston is an example of how quickly things can turn bad. Aron was out mountain biking in Utah when he stopped and decided to explore a canyon. As he was exploring the canyon, an 800lbs bolder shifted pinning his arm leaving him trapped for five days. Prior to his trip, Aron did not tell anyone where he was going; he did not create a trip report. Due to this, no one was looking for him and after five days (two without water) he amputated his arm with a pocket-knife to free himself (Ransom, 2003). This is a fantastic story of survival, but with proper planning, Aron may have been rescued, and first responders may have been able to save his arm.

Planning can be broken into two parts: Pre-Trip & Execution. Pre-Trip planning is vital to a successful rescue and the most important. It is also the most overlooked. I break pre-trip planning into 3 Steps:

Step 1. Map your route

Step 2. Complete a trip report

Step 3. File your trip report with a reliable individual/organization

Pre-Trip Planning

Step 1. Map your route: First things first, you need to know where you are going and it needs to be saved or printed. If you find yourself in a hard spot, this will allow search and rescue (SAR) personnel to define the search area. As a teen, I would just tell my brother that I was going to the mountains and leave. If I would have been injured or lost the only lead rescuers would have had to go off of would have been a general area in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. If I had left a map of my intended route, it would give SAR personnel a definitive start point. Your maps can be as simple or as fancy as you want, a simple GoogleMaps printout is better than nothing. For longer trips and hikes I plan in Google Earth and save the .kml file as a part of my Trip Report.

Map.PNG

Step 2. Complete a Trip Report: A trip report is a comprehensive document that aids rescuers in planning their search effort. It contains:

  • Personal Information
  • Other members of your group
  • What you are driving
  • Available Communications Equipment
  • Available Supplies
Party Members.PNG

This information is invaluable to SAR personnel. Step 1 tells them where to look and Step 2 tells them what to look for. Your Trip Report also provides rescuers with essential information such as what communication equipment you have and how much food. This allows them to focus efforts on communication means that are available to you. Additionally, you should attach a picture of your shoe's sole and tire tread. This can be used by rescuers to identify your tracks and track your location (Yavapai County Search and Rescue Team, 2012). A template Trip Report is attached as a starting point for your use.

Equipment Info.PNG

Step 3. File your trip report with a reliable individual/organization: The final step is to leave a copy with a trusted individual or organization. If it’s a day trip, it may be as simple as an email to a friend. If you are going into the backcountry, you may leave an additional copy at the servicing ranger station. Key to filing your trip report is letting them know your estimated time of return and what to do if you are not back on time. If avalible you should also include .kml & .gpx files of your route to aid in your recovery. It does no good to map out your trip, write a trip report, and then save it to your desktop where nobody can access it.

Conclusion

With a valid Trip Report in place you will have exponentially increased your odds of a successful rescue should you find yourself in an emergency situation while on the trail. The report lets rescuers know where you intended to go, who you went with, and what you have with you. This is everything needed to get you out of trouble as quickly as possible and it to simple to overlook. I’ve attached a .pdf version of what I use for my outdoor excursions. I also uploaded a Microsoft Word version < here > so that you can take it and make it your own. If my format doesn’t suit your needs, a simple web search for “Hiking Plan” or similar will bring up numerous different versions. The bottom line whether or not you file a formal trip report is to always let someone know where you are going, and when you should be back.

About the Author

Tyler is an active duty Officer in the U.S. Air Force and Masters candidate at Michigan State University’s School of Criminal Justice. He has over 11 years of Law Enforcement & Intelligence experience and is a combat veteran of two overseas deployments. In his free time, Tyler is an avid explorer and loves to share his passion for the outdoors with his wife and children.

References:

Ransom, C. (2003, July 24). Did Climber Have to Cut Off Arm to Save Life? Retrieved from nationalgeographic.com/: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/07/0724_030724_AronRalston.html

Yavapai County Search and Rescue Team. (2012, April 27). Recent Search and Rescues – A Shoe Print Photo Aids Rescue Team in Sedona Incident. Retrieved from http://www.ycsrt.org/: http://www.ycsrt.org/?q=node/53
 

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Advocate III

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Lost and Found: File a trip report!

- Tyler Tennies

Planning can be broken into two parts: Pre-Trip & Execution. Pre-Trip planning is vital to a successful rescue and the most important. It is also the most overlooked. I break pre-trip planning into 3 Steps:
http://www.ycsrt.org/?q=node/53
Step 1. Map your route

Step 2. Complete a trip report

Step 3. File your trip report with a reliable individual/organization

. . .
Nicely done, Tyler. Very informative, to the point, and includes important info I hadn't thought about, to be honest.

Sounds like there might be a part two coming, on Execution? Hope so.
 

HappyOurOverlanding

US West Region Member Rep
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3,402
Verdi Nevada
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9206

Ham Callsign
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Lost and Found: File a trip report!

- Tyler Tennies

We as Overland Bound members love exploring. It’s a part of who we are, but what happens when we find ourselves with a broken vehicle, lost, or worse yet injured and alone? Exploring remote locations alone or in a small group can turn south quickly, despite all of our preparation. Even short day-trips can be life changing in an instant. Aron Ralston is an example of how quickly things can turn bad. Aron was out mountain biking in Utah when he stopped and decided to explore a canyon. As he was exploring the canyon, an 800lbs bolder shifted pinning his arm leaving him trapped for five days. Prior to his trip, Aron did not tell anyone where he was going; he did not create a trip report. Due to this, no one was looking for him and after five days (two without water) he amputated his arm with a pocket-knife to free himself (Ransom, 2003). This is a fantastic story of survival, but with proper planning, Aron may have been rescued, and first responders may have been able to save his arm.

Planning can be broken into two parts: Pre-Trip & Execution. Pre-Trip planning is vital to a successful rescue and the most important. It is also the most overlooked. I break pre-trip planning into 3 Steps:

Step 1. Map your route

Step 2. Complete a trip report

Step 3. File your trip report with a reliable individual/organization

Pre-Trip Planning

Step 1. Map your route: First things first, you need to know where you are going and it needs to be saved or printed. If you find yourself in a hard spot, this will allow search and rescue (SAR) personnel to define the search area. As a teen, I would just tell my brother that I was going to the mountains and leave. If I would have been injured or lost the only lead rescuers would have had to go off of would have been a general area in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. If I had left a map of my intended route, it would give SAR personnel a definitive start point. Your maps can be as simple or as fancy as you want, a simple GoogleMaps printout is better than nothing. For longer trips and hikes I plan in Google Earth and save the .kml file as a part of my Trip Report.

View attachment 46237

Step 2. Complete a Trip Report: A trip report is a comprehensive document that aids rescuers in planning their search effort. It contains:

  • Personal Information
  • Other members of your group
  • What you are driving
  • Available Communications Equipment
  • Available Supplies
View attachment 46238

This information is invaluable to SAR personnel. Step 1 tells them where to look and Step 2 tells them what to look for. Your Trip Report also provides rescuers with essential information such as what communication equipment you have and how much food. This allows them to focus efforts on communication means that are available to you. Additionally, you should attach a picture of your shoe's sole and tire tread. This can be used by rescuers to identify your tracks and track your location (Yavapai County Search and Rescue Team, 2012). A template Trip Report is attached as a starting point for your use.

View attachment 46239

Step 3. File your trip report with a reliable individual/organization: The final step is to leave a copy with a trusted individual or organization. If it’s a day trip, it may be as simple as an email to a friend. If you are going into the backcountry, you may leave an additional copy at the servicing ranger station. Key to filing your trip report is letting them know your estimated time of return and what to do if you are not back on time. If avalible you should also include .kml & .gpx files of your route to aid in your recovery. It does no good to map out your trip, write a trip report, and then save it to your desktop where nobody can access it.

Conclusion

With a valid Trip Report in place you will have exponentially increased your odds of a successful rescue should you find yourself in an emergency situation while on the trail. The report lets rescuers know where you intended to go, who you went with, and what you have with you. This is everything needed to get you out of trouble as quickly as possible and it to simple to overlook. I’ve attached a .pdf version of what I use for my outdoor excursions. I also uploaded a Microsoft Word version < here > so that you can take it and make it your own. If my format doesn’t suit your needs, a simple web search for “Hiking Plan” or similar will bring up numerous different versions. The bottom line whether or not you file a formal trip report is to always let someone know where you are going, and when you should be back.

About the Author

Tyler is an active duty Officer in the U.S. Air Force and Masters candidate at Michigan State University’s School of Criminal Justice. He has over 11 years of Law Enforcement & Intelligence experience and is a combat veteran of two overseas deployments. In his free time, Tyler is an avid explorer and loves to share his passion for the outdoors with his wife and children.

References:

Ransom, C. (2003, July 24). Did Climber Have to Cut Off Arm to Save Life? Retrieved from nationalgeographic.com/: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/07/0724_030724_AronRalston.html

Yavapai County Search and Rescue Team. (2012, April 27). Recent Search and Rescues – A Shoe Print Photo Aids Rescue Team in Sedona Incident. Retrieved from http://www.ycsrt.org/: http://www.ycsrt.org/?q=node/53
Good read and info. And, thanks for the downloadable trip report. This document sent to a reliable source is added safety to my messages sent from my Garmin InReach throughout the trip. If no message is received by the reliable source in a predetermined period of time, then they will have the pertinent info to share with the authorities closest to the trip area.
 
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TRT87

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder II

1,450
Waipahu, HI
First Name
Tyler
Last Name
Tennies
Member #

9223

Good read and info. And, thanks for the downloadable trip report. This document sent to a reliable source is added safety to my messages sent from my Garmin InReach throughout the trip. If no message is received by the reliable source in a predetermined period of time, then they will have the pertinent info to share with the authorities closest to the trip area.
@HappyOurOverlanding,

I'm glad you are finding the Trip Report useful and thank you for the feedback.

Tyler
 
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TRT87

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder II

1,450
Waipahu, HI
First Name
Tyler
Last Name
Tennies
Member #

9223

Nice!! I have never gone on any particularly aggressive solo trips like that, but I will still be sure to take these steps when I head out for a day or even afternoon!

Thanks again!
I happy you found it useful!

Take care,

Tyler
 

BCNP4runner

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Lost and Found: File a trip report!

- Tyler Tennies

We as Overland Bound members love exploring. It’s a part of who we are, but what happens when we find ourselves with a broken vehicle, lost, or worse yet injured and alone? Exploring remote locations alone or in a small group can turn south quickly, despite all of our preparation. Even short day-trips can be life changing in an instant. Aron Ralston is an example of how quickly things can turn bad. Aron was out mountain biking in Utah when he stopped and decided to explore a canyon. As he was exploring the canyon, an 800lbs bolder shifted pinning his arm leaving him trapped for five days. Prior to his trip, Aron did not tell anyone where he was going; he did not create a trip report. Due to this, no one was looking for him and after five days (two without water) he amputated his arm with a pocket-knife to free himself (Ransom, 2003). This is a fantastic story of survival, but with proper planning, Aron may have been rescued, and first responders may have been able to save his arm.

Planning can be broken into two parts: Pre-Trip & Execution. Pre-Trip planning is vital to a successful rescue and the most important. It is also the most overlooked. I break pre-trip planning into 3 Steps:

Step 1. Map your route

Step 2. Complete a trip report

Step 3. File your trip report with a reliable individual/organization

Pre-Trip Planning

Step 1. Map your route: First things first, you need to know where you are going and it needs to be saved or printed. If you find yourself in a hard spot, this will allow search and rescue (SAR) personnel to define the search area. As a teen, I would just tell my brother that I was going to the mountains and leave. If I would have been injured or lost the only lead rescuers would have had to go off of would have been a general area in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. If I had left a map of my intended route, it would give SAR personnel a definitive start point. Your maps can be as simple or as fancy as you want, a simple GoogleMaps printout is better than nothing. For longer trips and hikes I plan in Google Earth and save the .kml file as a part of my Trip Report.

View attachment 46237

Step 2. Complete a Trip Report: A trip report is a comprehensive document that aids rescuers in planning their search effort. It contains:

  • Personal Information
  • Other members of your group
  • What you are driving
  • Available Communications Equipment
  • Available Supplies
View attachment 46238

This information is invaluable to SAR personnel. Step 1 tells them where to look and Step 2 tells them what to look for. Your Trip Report also provides rescuers with essential information such as what communication equipment you have and how much food. This allows them to focus efforts on communication means that are available to you. Additionally, you should attach a picture of your shoe's sole and tire tread. This can be used by rescuers to identify your tracks and track your location (Yavapai County Search and Rescue Team, 2012). A template Trip Report is attached as a starting point for your use.

View attachment 46239

Step 3. File your trip report with a reliable individual/organization: The final step is to leave a copy with a trusted individual or organization. If it’s a day trip, it may be as simple as an email to a friend. If you are going into the backcountry, you may leave an additional copy at the servicing ranger station. Key to filing your trip report is letting them know your estimated time of return and what to do if you are not back on time. If avalible you should also include .kml & .gpx files of your route to aid in your recovery. It does no good to map out your trip, write a trip report, and then save it to your desktop where nobody can access it.

Conclusion

With a valid Trip Report in place you will have exponentially increased your odds of a successful rescue should you find yourself in an emergency situation while on the trail. The report lets rescuers know where you intended to go, who you went with, and what you have with you. This is everything needed to get you out of trouble as quickly as possible and it to simple to overlook. I’ve attached a .pdf version of what I use for my outdoor excursions. I also uploaded a Microsoft Word version < here > so that you can take it and make it your own. If my format doesn’t suit your needs, a simple web search for “Hiking Plan” or similar will bring up numerous different versions. The bottom line whether or not you file a formal trip report is to always let someone know where you are going, and when you should be back.

About the Author

Tyler is an active duty Officer in the U.S. Air Force and Masters candidate at Michigan State University’s School of Criminal Justice. He has over 11 years of Law Enforcement & Intelligence experience and is a combat veteran of two overseas deployments. In his free time, Tyler is an avid explorer and loves to share his passion for the outdoors with his wife and children.

References:

Ransom, C. (2003, July 24). Did Climber Have to Cut Off Arm to Save Life? Retrieved from nationalgeographic.com/: Did Climber Have to Cut Off Arm to Save Life?

Yavapai County Search and Rescue Team. (2012, April 27). Recent Search and Rescues – A Shoe Print Photo Aids Rescue Team in Sedona Incident. Retrieved from News & Story Feed | Yavapai County Search and Rescue Team: Shoe Print Photo Aids Rescue Team | Yavapai County Search and Rescue Team
Wow! Just Wow!

This is *much* more thorough (and operationally useful!) than the trip plans I leave behind. Please continue to update this.

@Michael @Corrie is there any chance of adding a feature to the OB1 app to build and share a trip plan like what Tyler has described here? If one were planning a trip with OB1's mapping capability, getting the KML/GPX file would be easy (otherwise it could be uploaded from another source), and the rest is filling out a form and uploading a few pictures, then retaining it for some fixed period of time after the end of the trip. If storage is a problem, store it on the user's Google Drive and retain a link to it. This could be as important as the mapping feature and sooner or later it *will* save a life.
 
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