By Oceana Setaysha
Most people, even passionate outdoors people, believe that survival in the wild during an emergency situation is all about your wilderness skills. But did you know that one of the best things you can do to ensure your survival if something goes wrong is actually done in the preparation stage?
We call it the P.I.N. It means Planned Itinerary Notification, and it’s a document that you can fill out prior to your trip that makes it easy for people to find you if something goes wrong. We’re about to explain why you need one.
The Benefits Of The P.I.N.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that lodging a P.I.N. before you head off is a good idea. But if you’re not a generally cautious person (not a great idea if you’re a wilderness lover), the benefits may not immediately be clear. Let us lay them out for you.
A P.I.N. Lets People Know Where To Look:
In a P.I.N. you outline all the areas that you’ll be travelling in on your trip, including the routes you’ll be taking and the areas you’ll be passing through.
Using this, rescuers can figure out your daily speed and see where you might have met difficulty. This cuts the search area down enormously if you go missing on your trip, meaning you’re likely to be found much faster.
A P.I.N. Lets People Know When To Look:
A P.I.N. will include your intended start date, intended finish date, and anywhere you’ll be touching base on the way. These dates are crucial because it cuts down on the time that people will waste wondering if you’re ok. If you don’t show up on the date you nominated, people will know something is wrong.
A P.I.N. Tells People Who To Call:
Your P.I.N. has the names and contact details of your next of kin, just in case something happens to you and you need their help. This might be because you’re in danger, can’t be found, or because you’re injured and can’t make medical decisions.
In any case, it’s smart that the people who care about you can be there to help.
A P.I.N. Tells People About You:
The P.I.N. has places for you to tell the authorities and other relevant parties about yourself. If something goes wrong they won’t just have your photograph (which is a smart idea), but also an idea of your own wilderness skills and abilities. This may give them a better idea of what you’ll do in an emergency.
Tips For Filling Out Your P.I.N
There are a few things to think about when you’re filling out your P.I.N, to make sure you get the most out of it. Here’s what we’d suggest.
Be As Specific As Possible:
A P.I.N. is of no use if it’s not specific enough. Take your time in filling it out, and make sure you give as many details as you can.
If your P.I.N. is vague the people who are trying to help you will take even longer to figure out where you might be, which is not what you want if you’re in trouble.
Have A Clear Plan And Stick To It:
When you write up your P.I.N. you’ll be asked to map out your trip plan. We get it, sometimes trips don’t go exactly to plan, but if you leave a P.I.N. with the authorities or people that you love, it’s important to stick to it. If you want more leeway, then adjust your trip schedule accordingly, but understand that you’re risking people taking longer to find you if something goes wrong.
P.I.N.s Aren’t Just For Walking:
A P.I.N. isn’t just useful for walkers, it’s also a great idea for people travelling in motorised vehicles, campers, bikes and on watercraft.
On the P.I.N. you’ll have the opportunity to describe the vehicles you’ll be using, which you should do in as much detail as possible.
Who To Give It To
One of the key things in making the P.I.N. work for you is to give it to the right people. Now in the case of the P.I.N. this isn’t just your family or friends who aren’t attending the trip with you, but also the local police, the park rangers in the area you’re travelling, your accommodation base if you’re not travelling with all your gear, or a local business owner in remote areas.
Choose wisely who you give your P.I.N. to, you’ll need to trust the person to get you out of trouble if something goes wrong, and not forget their responsibilities. At the same time, don’t just leave your P.I.N. with one person. The more people who are out looking for you when you’re in trouble, the better!
There are a few options for completing your Planned Notification Itinerary (P.I.N.) after downloading it.
- Type your information straight onto the document and email it to whoever you like;
- Type your information straight onto the document and print it out for people who may not have email;
- Print out the document and hand-write the relevant information in the spaces provided and then scan & email or copy and hand printed versions to whoever you nominate.
The document has built-in email and print buttons you can use at your convenience.
Download the Planned Itinerary Notification pdf document for free by clicking below:
Play Safe…Never take your personal safety for granted!