The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has a great page that covers most every aspect of this subject.
While some of the information may be AT specific, the majority is for hiking in general.
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)
1-20-16 ~ ccrs.
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.
lost in the woods.
IT TAKES VERY LITTLE EFFORT ON YOUR PART TO GET LOST IN THE WOODS.
Probably the most common way of getting lost in the woods happens anytime you step off the trail or leave your campsite.
Chances are that it will probably not be some huge, secret Forest Service, Trail Club or Mother Nature plot that will cause you to become lost. It will more than likely happen because you left the trail to go dig a cathole, to pee, to see some flowers, to see some rocks, to see a creek or a waterfall, to look for a flat campsite, to look for firewood, to wash dishes, to take a spit bath... and were not paying much attention to to how you got there.
Probably the second most common way of getting lost in the woods is thinking that only idiots get lost in the woods. Now, go back and read that again. Now, go back and read that again... :) Yes, we ALL have an Idiot gene buried inside us :)
I got lost on the AT in 2002 when I left the trail to go dig a cathole. I couldn't even remember if I was uphill or downhill from the trail. I deserved to be lost. The only smart thing I did that day was to bring my pack off trail with me (food, water, shelter). After the blood rush stopped pounding in my ears, I stood the pack up on the ground, walked 25 feet away from it and walked a circle around it looking for the trail. Each time I circled the pack I extended the circle by about 25 feet or so and on the 4th circle I did find the trail.
do the surveyors tape thing.
My personal solution for not getting lost, again, is to carry two 3 foot strips of bright pink surveyors tape in my pack (WalMart - Home Depot - Lowes). Before you leave the trail, loosely tie a strip of tape head high on a tree. Never ever lose sight of the tape. If you need to go farther for privacy, tie the second strip head high on a tree. Never ever lose sight of the tape.
your health and safety.
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.
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
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.
It is important that do this all day. All the little critters really appreciate you just staying on your own trails!
On the Pinhoti Trail, the light blue blazes should 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 and kick it in the butt. 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 : )
the pta's busiest month to date ~ feb 2016 ~ 40,168 web hits
current weather @ pinhoti trail mid-point ~ s14 - 7.3 ~ cave spring trailhead
pinhoti national recreation trail / pinhoti millennium legacy trail
a 337.1 mile southern region appalachian trail connector
In case of emergencies, dial 911. This is the only public service that will know your exact location
Do phone reset first ~ go to settings / go to privacy / turn on location services