No trek, hike, or river trip adventure ever goes as planned. That’s life!
Plans can be altered by our personal distractions, changing weather, equipment failure, injury, or sickness. Whatever the cause, pre-planning goes a long way in making the adventure a success.
One of our adventures took us on a 6-day river trip through a wilderness area.It required extensive preplanning. Permits needed to be secured, detailed packing lists were made for equipment, food, cooking equipment, and personal gear. Contingency plans were made for weather as well as equipment failure and loss. This came in handy as one of our rafts got torn on a sharp rock and had to be sewn. But that’s a whole other story!
Vehicles that we drove to the launch point needed to be staged at the take-out point and drivers had to be flown back to the launch point.
A pre-trek fitness regiment was established for all participants along with skills training.
All of the pre-planning was worth it as we overcame obstacles and enjoyed each moment. Even those that were not planned!
We want to help you eliminate the learning curve so we’ve put together a basic list of things to consider as you plan your next adventure.
List of things to consider
- Permits to determine feasibility
- Many popular trails, as well as river trips, require permits that may take time to secure. (Some longer than a year)
- Many permits for trail, river, and campsite have group size limitations. Pay close attention to these because they are strictly enforced.
- Pre-filed hike or float plan with organizations that issue the permits.
- Trek location, duration, difficulty
- Topographical maps can help determine length of the trek as well as the elevation changes you will experience.
- AllTrails.com can provide you with reports on trail difficulty, estimated time hiking, other hikers experiences, and current conditions.
- Fitness and skill requirement and training
- Each participant should be able to hike the expected daily distances carrying their load.
- If on water, each person should have swimming, paddling, and rescue skills. This includes skills necessary to assist in the rescue of others.
- Basic first-aid skills are a must.
- Written Group equipment lists (each of these items require a detailed list)
- Menu and cooking equipment
- Sanitation supplies
- 1st aid supplies
- Repair kits
- Written gear list for each individual
- Sleeping gear including tents
- Clothing and footwear
- Personal hygiene kits
- Pre-trek shakedown
- Each participant pack or river bag is checked suing the pre-approved list
- Group gear is checked and stowed
- Vehicles are checked for fuel and operating condition
- The person staying home to receive daily trek reports takes pictures of the group and individual participants
- Distance to trailhead or river put-in
- Return plan -Consider levels of exhaustion and tiredness for drivers
- Plan for more frequent breaks
- Written daily itinerary
- This is an estimated timetable of your events, be flexible!
- List starting locations and times
- Designated rest stops on the trail or river
- Check-in times with person at home to report status
- Emergencies or Plan B
- Reliable communication with the outside world
- Poor weather plans with alternative trails or stopping points
- Back up maps and compass in case GPS fails
- Medical information for each participant
- If taking youth, have parents sign a “release to treat” form in case of an emergency room visit
- Emergency contacts at home and with the trekking group
- Procedures for missed check-in times
- Pre-trip photos and copy of gear list – shows your preparedness in the unlikely event that rescue team needs to be activated
If you’re planning a multi-day high adventure trip, I hope this helps you feel confident to go out safely and have fun!
Be sure to check out our other videos, and we look forward to seeing you back!