I've been playing with this new app called Overdue. It's developed by a member of Search & Rescue (SAR). I love it!
Yes I carry the essentials, have done for years, but I admit I'm really bad at letting people know where I'm going when I go for a mid week trail run. If its a long adventure I'm fairly good (however thinking about it I'm quite bad at that too, I should know better). On my local weekly runs I'm terrible at remembering to let someone know where I'm going. I know accidents can happen (even on short local trails) and it could be a long time before someone notices I'm missing.......and when they do, they don't even know where to start looking, because i haven't told anyone where I'm going.
It's really important to let someone know where you are going and a time to call for help if you don't return. When you are out there lost/injured and cold, the faster you are found the faster you are out of the nightmare. If people don't even know you are missing and/or where to start looking, that can take a really long time. When I think about my home situation, it could easily be a day or so before someone notices I'm gone. And although I have my regular routes, I have multiple regular routes and could be on any one of them.
I'm also bad with technology (I can barely work the TV). So for me to use an app it has to be useful, simple and fast. If it takes more than a few seconds to work it out I'm done (I'm not known for my patience).
The app is stunningly simple, even I got set up in minutes. But the best thing for me is it takes seconds to register one of my regular runs. The runs are stored in the history, so i just click on it and set a new date & time. I now have no excuse not to register a run.......although I am still forgetting sometimes, but I'm a lot better!!
Another sweet feature is I can quickly finger draw my route onto the map, which also comes in handy when I come across a trail junction and I'm not sure which to take (as happened to me yesterday). I can click on the link I got when I registered my trip and it shows me where I am in relation to my intended route. I can also download it and add to my GPS to use as a route finder as well as my overdue info.
My partner, who is my main contact if I don't return, appreciates that it texts me and calls me (a few times) if its getting near the "call for help" time and I haven't checked in, because I'm also bad a remembering to check back in when I get home.
On one of the times, I was in the shower and didn't hear the phone, so he just clicked on the link (in the text he gets when I registered the trip) and it shows him where I am (it records as the trip progresses so the emergency services know where my last known point was). He could see that my location was at the house and so knew not to call 911 as I was already home.
Note: once I've checked back in, the link to see my location expires. I'm only being tracked when I register and while I'm on a trip.
An essential part of trail safety is letting someone know where you're going. Even if its a simple text message to a reliable person. SAR can find you a lot faster if they know you are missing and where to start looking. Find the easiest and fastest way to do this that works for you so that you remember to do it consistently. Then if something happens, it isn't the "one time" you forgot to let someone know.
To view the EMELEE products click HERE