pinhoti national recreation trail / pinhoti millennium legacy trail
In case of emergencies, dial 911. This is the only public service that knows your exact location.
go to settings / go to privacy / turn on location services
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has a great page that covers most every aspect of these subjects.
While some of the information may be AT specific, the majority is for hiking in general.
US Forest Foundation ~ Lost in the woods
Remember that your health and safety is your responsibility and your success in dealing with these issues is dependent on the choices you make in each situation. Hikers do not exist in a protective bubble.
Fortunately, the simple act of hiking through the woods tends to dissolve outside distractions and quiet the 10,000 busy little voices inside your head.
When a situation arises that requires your attention, you will be aware of it. If you have limited hiking experience, then take a few minutes to read the pages linked above and make decisions now about what you should do in any given situation.
Panic and / or anxiety are what leads to most bad choices and unless there happens to be a Bear charging you at the moment, you do not have a good reason for going into fight / flight mode!
Remember that book "I learned everything I know in kindergarten" ? Well, you already know alot about survival. It has been passed down through the gene pool for the last 10,000 years (the 10,000 busy little voices inside your head!).
Just sit yourself down for a minute. Drink some water, look around at the bugs and leaves and trees and the sky. Let your subconscious mull it over for a bit. You will come up with a good idea.
call 911 if you are really in trouble.
They are the only ones that can track your location through your phone.
(go to settings / go to privacy ~ turn on location services)
Thanks to Brian Andrews, Clay County Rescue Squad, for this post on the PTA Facebook page.
Just a reminder. In the event you get lost or have an emergency, dial 911 FIRST. ALWAYS. Don't call TNF or the State Park. They can't help you. You can dial 911 on any carrier, any tower, with a signal.
When you dial 911, GPS coordinates, if available, go out with your call automatically. This info is transferred to them when the call connects. When you call any other number this does not happen.
GPS info could be the difference between an hour or 12 hours. Life or death. Being found or not. Even if you can't talk, they can locate you and contact you back.
And know that not all 911 centers have texting yet, but the guys looking for you might. Text can go through when calls may not, and uses less battery. Safe hiking and feel free to share this.
this will never happen to you.
Of course, this will never ever happen to any of you... I'm just posting this so you can pass the info on to all of your friends :)
I've been lost one time. On the AT I went off trail to dig a cat hole. I couldn't even remember if I left the trail going uphill or downhill. Honestly, I deserved to be lost.
So I came up with a plan to leave my pack right where it was and keep it in sight at all times. Then I walked away from the pack 25 or 30', then walked in a complete circle around the pack looking for the trail. It didn't work. So, I doubled the distance and this time it did work. Something like this should work for most of the really stupid little things we get ourselves into.
Here are a couple of other things that you may not think about until after you get lost ~
* ALWAYS take your pack when you go off trail because you may not make it back to the trail.
* 2 legged or 4 legged critters may get to it before you do.
Always carry a compass on your pack. Even if you make it off trail and back ok you may not remember which direction you were going on the trail. Hey! I can hear you laughing at me!.
Then there is the really possible scenario where you just accidentally veer off on a deer trail or something and go for miles and miles and miles and miles and......
Well, this has never happened to me, no really! If it ever did, I would hope that my charged phone was somewhere on my person and that I know how to:
*go to settings
*go to privacy
*turn on location services
*spell 911 :)
Most established long distance hiking trails are blazed in some way. Seriously, make it your daily practice to just be aware of the blazes as they pass by.
This is the most important thing you'll do on a hike and all the little critters would really appreciate it if you would just stay on your own trails!
On the Pinhoti Trail, the light blue blazes are (supposed to be) 0.1 miles apart, as described in the "Appalachian Trail Construction and Maintenance Guidelines".
If you want to know what type a certain bear is, sneak up behind it and kick it. Then, run like crazy and climb up a tree. If the bear climbs the tree and eats you, it is a black bear. If the bear just pushes the tree over and eats you, it is a grizzly bear : )