View Full Version : Itinierary

04-07-2004, 12:53
Responsible folks suggest that backpackers always leave an itinerary with people at home, just in case something goes wrong.

max patch
04-07-2004, 12:56
Responsible folks suggest that backpackers always leave an itinerary with people at home, just in case something goes wrong.

Thats great advice; some day I may even follow it.

Lone Wolf
04-07-2004, 13:00
Someday soon cellphones will work 100% of the time. Then you won't need no stinkin itinerary. :cool:

04-07-2004, 13:07
We need a third option - I should, but I never do.

Gravity Man

04-07-2004, 14:36
The only time I leave an itinerary behind is when I'm going on a dangerous or remote trip. For things like the AT or the PCT, it really is impossible to say where I'll be or when, so an itinerary doesn't make much sense. With shorter trips in the Smokys, I can handle whatever will come up, and there are lots of people around anyhow. With foreign travel, I tend to leave a rough idea of where I'll be going and when, but nothing set in stone. To be completely honest, if something came up in, say, Syria, I would have to deal with it long before any help from home arrived.

04-07-2004, 14:46
My mother usually requests that we leave an itenerary with her. I usually comply, even if it's a phone call from near the trail head saying, "Hey, sorry I forgot, we're starting in a few minutes at _____ and we're hiking to ______. It's about __ miles and we should be finished at some point on ___day."

If it's a long trip, it's basically the same thing, but instead of saying finished, I'd say that our next resupply and chance to call you will be in _ - _ days from now in ______. That's about __ miles from here.

Perhaps not a detailed itenerary, but a general overview.

When I thruhiked, I left a more detailed schedule with her so she'd know when to mail out my maildrops. I kept her up to date on my progress as I reached a town, and we'd revise the schedule so she wouldn't be mailing things out too early or too late. "Ok, you're in Glencliff, NH, but the schedule says that you should be in Gorham. How far off are you?"


TJ aka Teej
04-07-2004, 15:31
When I take my kids (10,11, and 14) I write out a detailed itinerary including options and pack a cell phone. When it's just me out backpacking alone I'll tell my Mrs about where I'm heading and about when I should be back.

04-07-2004, 21:31
I leave a generalized time of return so not to freak out those counting minutes.

I leave a copy with the spouse and one on my dashboard for the local constabulary so they hopefull don't tow me.

04-07-2004, 23:27
Always leave some sort of rough plan. If my wife isn't with me she knows it is a rough draft and she knows my thought processl Sometimes I'll leave options because I like to work out loops using side trails. I have found that some may or may not be passable when I get there despite what the USFS office says. Some places like the Smokies the permit acts as an itinerary. Anyway the itinerary is a guideline that I do not feel driven to follow to the letter but it offers some parameters if I need to be found.

The cell phone stays in the car unless there is a family reason for checking in, like when a relative has terminal cancer and I don't want to miss the funeral.

I have never left an itinerary on the dashboard because I figured it might be an invitation to thieves. I had my clunker broken into years ago, stole my battery, all my tools, and ripped a bunch of wires loose just for meanness. Now I am wary about parking or leaving clues as to my return time on the car.

04-11-2004, 12:48
I concur with BobGessner57's comments: I figure out a detailed intinerary for my 1-2 week section hikes, but I rarely follow them to the letter and note a number of "bail out" options. I don't bother with a cell phone, especially since they don't work most of the time.

04-11-2004, 13:25
I tell one or two people where I'm starting, what direction I'm going, and when I plan to be back. So far, I have only backpacked on the AT.

Hammock Hanger
04-11-2004, 13:57
My hubby gets a genralized overview. He knows the trail keeps to no schedule. I check in when I come into resupply. If I went past a resupply and he didn't hear from me for a long period of time he would probably get worried but so far our "loose itinerary" has worked. Sue/HH

04-26-2004, 18:45
Responsible folks suggest that backpackers always leave an itinerary with people at home, just in case something goes wrong.

when i grow up....someday....i wanna be responsible! hehehehehe ;)
i always leave an itinerary behind for my wife ("D-bird") & a friend ("TeePee") who likes to keep up with where i am on a particular day!(approximately)

05-25-2004, 18:04

12-30-2004, 00:25
I leave an itinerary when I go out to keep my wife happy. She knows it is a rough estimate, but if she needs to find me, it is a place to start.

Also - when I'm hiking the AT, she wants to know how to get me if there is an emergency. I told her to contact the ATC with my last known place (he called from Damascus on Saturday and was headed north) and they would be helpful. Is this good advice - anything better?

08-28-2005, 18:39
I can't plan a working itinerary for a normal day, it would be pure huberus to assume I could successfully follow one on the trail.

08-29-2005, 14:38
I would think it's almost impossible for a thru-hiker to have an itinerary. Even the anal people that started out with one seemed to ditch it after a week or two. For shorter, weekend type hikes I'll usually tell someone where I'm going and when I plan to be back.

08-29-2005, 22:02
:) My wife and I are both long distance hikers and frequently we go solo. She did three months in New Zealand alone and I did the AT alone. A rough itinerary between phone calls is a great comfort when one of us is off on a trek. By the way we have been happily married fo 40 years but I think we would kill each other if we hiked together for more than a month.

08-29-2005, 23:18
i always leave something. how detailed depends on where i'm going.

if it's local hiking, i'm at one of three sections of a national forest. i pretty much have my favorite spots to camp, and my wife has the UTM grid coordinates for them all. i just tell her which section i'm going to and that i will stay either here, there, or this other place, whatever's appropriate. if i come up missing, she knows where to send people to look.

if i'm just canoing, the guy who puts me in and pulls me out knows when i'm supposed to be done, and where. there are also camps all along the rivers around here, and help is never far away.

if i'm in the smokies, as mentioned earlier, the permit acts as an itinerary, and there's always someone around on the AT there. i just sort of wander as i need to, within reason and per campsite reservations.

if it's somewhere else i've not been, i leave pretty detailed instructions with options.

on another note, i've never had the misfortune of having a car parked at a trailhead broken into. i pretty much strip everything out of the passenger compartment and lock it in the trunk... then i leave everything inside (ash trays, storage areas, glove compartment, etc) "open", so anyone looking inside through the windows can see it's not worth breaking into, as there is nothing of value inside. don't know if it helps, but it makes me feel better.

09-17-2010, 17:51
I saw a copy of the AMC Journal "Appalachia" today at the bookstore. Being conservation minded (and the fact that it was $12) I read the White Mountain accident reports in the store.

Anyway, they mentioned a web site where you can leave you hiking itinerary and if you don't check back in after a certain period of time the site will automatically send out an e-mail to whomever you selected.

I forgot what the website was, but thought that to be a rather cleaver idea. Doe anyone know the site?

The more I think about it, the more I see value in that service.

09-17-2010, 19:27
I always do. Got in the habit when hiking in the desert in Arizona. On the other hand, if you ignore this most basic of safety rules, you might eventually have to cut your own arm off, which would lead to television show appearances and a book & movie deal.

So maybe that's the way to go.

09-17-2010, 19:30
I always do. Got in the habit when hiking in the desert in Arizona. On the other hand, if you ignore this most basic of safety rules, you might eventually have to cut your own arm off, which would lead to television show appearances and a book & movie deal.

So maybe that's the way to go.

And a cool fake arm.

08-07-2013, 06:25
Just wondering if anyone's thoughts have changed on this.

08-07-2013, 07:50
Oh my reanimated zombie threads...

When I was younger I was not very good at such planning. Now though, when I leave town for a few days I'll atleast tell my dad I am heading out. When I go backpacking I write an itinerary. For one my dad is 70 and should anything happen to him I most certainly want to be found. And second, while my dad was and is never a worrier, I am sure I have made him worry and as I have gotten older I am quite happy to give my dad and a very close friend a peace of mind.

My itineraries usually include end and start dates along with general areas I intend to be at the end of the day. I'll also include the non-emergency numbers for the local LE.

08-07-2013, 08:25
On backpacking trips, I always give Mrs Mags a quick outline of where I am going and my planned route. I also give her a call once I am done with the trip and heading back.

Another Kevin
08-07-2013, 08:37
I'm a clueless weekender - a 3-4 day section is about the most I do. I shoot my wife an email (so she'll have it on her phone and computer) with a rough itinerary and the contact information for the rangers. She knows not to call the cavalry until I'm 24 hours late: I've spent an unexpected extra night before. (No major trouble - just a run of unexpected slow progress on a bushwhack.) Often my itinerary has extra options: "I'm planning to go up XXX mountain from the YYY trailhead. If I get there early and I'm feeling strong, I might whack the ridge to ZZZ mountain as well. It's conceivable that I'd bail out to AAA, BBB, or CCC."

Since I'm involved with open source mapping, I'll also usually include a map with waypoints, or at least a KML file for Google Earth.

And Mrs Kevin gets a text once I'm back in cell range. (A text message can get through on a marginal cell signal that won't support voice.)

Sarcasm the elf
08-07-2013, 08:46
There are people i care about that take care of things at home while I'm out hiking and i leave my itenerary with them for their piece if mind. They are aware that I never end up sticking with my itenrary every day (I'm usually behind schedule), but it gives them info on the route i am walking and i am usually within a couple of days walk from where i said I would be.

08-07-2013, 10:29
It's funny when I go by myself or with just me and kids we leave all these details for my wife. When she comes with us sometimes we don't tell anyone we are even going somewhere! We generally go to pretty populated areas where there are other people on the trail and we're not in any crazy wilderness or mountains. And as others have mentioned if you have to get a permit or reserve shelters or campsites - that kind of acts as a guide too.

08-09-2013, 22:46
I always leave as detailed an itinerary as possible! It usually includes my anticipated daily mileage and the general area I intend to camp each nite.
I also carry a Spot and send an OK message each evening when I reach camp! I've yet to be unable to get a message out with my Spot.

08-09-2013, 23:12
Yes. Route, number of days, where my car will be parked, and information for 2 people to contact.

08-09-2013, 23:14
I send my wife an email with pertinent information, rough plan, etc. That way she has the information at home, and work, access it with her phone, and can also forward it to anyone else.

However, its very loosey-goosey. I might walk 15 mile in a day, or I might walk 25. Just depends. Im trying to get better about signing registers though in case something did happen.

08-10-2013, 12:58
I don't usually leave an itinerary with check in times unless I'm in remote areas or bushwacking. Little of the solo hiking I do on the east coast requires me doing this IMO.