In teaching hunter education we discuss with students the practical steps they can take to prepare for and have a successful hunt. One of those steps when hunting with others is to have a “hunt plan” that simply coordinates where each hunter will be stationed, in what direction it is safe to shoot, and how long we will be in the woods. When hunting alone the plan should be written down and provided to a family member so they’ll know things like: When I plan to go into the woods; Where I’m leaving my truck; Where I’ll be hunting; When I expect to be out of the woods; and, What cell phone number can be used to reach me.
The same rationale goes into creating a survival plan. If I’m not hunting, I still want to let someone know where I’m going to be and what I’ll be doing. For example: How many days I plan to be out; Where I plan to hike or camp; What trail I’m using; Where I left my vehicle; If I’m going alone or with a group; The names and cell phone numbers of others in the group.
This kind of information may seem unimportant until something goes wrong. If I’m due to be home in three days, then someone knows to get worried and check on me on day four. If I’m going with a group and I’m overdue, then there are other numbers to try if my cell phone can’t be reached. At least my family would have a way to alert law enforcement as to where I was supposed to be and where to find my vehicle. That’s when having a survival plan really matters. It may seem like overkill to write it all down on paper but, just think about those who would worry about us. We do it for them.