Planned Itinerary Notification is a key survival tool

Huge Wilderness

Don’t Leave Home Without Lodging A Planned Itinerary Notification!

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 Planned Itinerary Notification (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:

rescue-helicopterIn 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:

Police on missing person caseYour 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 Planned Itinerary Notification

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:

Completing the Planned Itinerary NotificationA 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:

Car and caravanA 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.


Planned Itinerary Notification: 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.

Planned Itinerary Notification (P.I.N.)You can:

  1. Type your information straight onto the document and email it to whoever you like;
  2. Type your information straight onto the document and print it out for people who may not have email;
  3. 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:


click here arrow iconPlanned Itinerary Notification (P.I.N.)

Play Safe…Never take your personal safety for granted!





Blogger & Multiple Contributor at

Oceana Setaysha is a hiking-lover, geocacher and outdoors fanatic who loves nothing more than a long walk on a cool day, sleeping in a dome tent under the stars, and cooking on an open fire.

She lives in Darwin within Australia’s famous Northern Territory and is always on the lookout for new adventures, new walking trails, and new geocaches.

She moves around Australia a bit using her photography skills which you can check out on her website

19 thoughts on “Planned Itinerary Notification is a key survival tool

  • January 22, 2019 at 7:59 am

    There is always something unique and educational in all your posts. Being a frequent traveller myself learn a lot from your posts. This is a cracker and one I was not aware of. I will think of using PIN going forward on my trips. We travel as a family with kids mostly and this just would help in an emergency. Some great things to learn here.

  • January 18, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    I never heard about P.I.N. This is really good idea to let P.I.N. about your trip, especially when the trip is really long and you go to another continent. Too bad, that I didn’t fill out prior to my trip to Madagascar.

  • January 17, 2019 at 7:25 am

    This is so far one of the most useful travel posts I have ever read. I had no idea that this existed! When I travel I think often “if something happens to me who is going to tell my mom?”. In Italy we have a system where you just notify the embassy that you will be in a certain country for a certain period. But it’s pretty vague, there are no details like in the P.I.N. Next time I travel I will definitely lodge a P.I.N. Thank you for sharing such valuable information!

  • January 3, 2019 at 12:28 am

    This is such a great idea and honestly, so simple to do for a little peace of mind not only for yourself but also for your family who may be worried about you. There is no harm in doing right so best to ensure it forms a major part of your wilderness prep. I guess the only thing about it is you can’t exactly be spontaneous during the expedition in case you go off course or don’t’ stick to the timeline. If I’m not an experience trekker, what the best way to work out the distance I would be covering in a day so the route is more accurate?

    • January 4, 2019 at 3:01 am

      Thanks for leaving a great comment, Amy. I guess the answer to the question you pose at the end is extremely dependent on your age, fitness, experience, map-reading ability, who you may be travelling with…there are quite a few variables which mean it will be different for everyone. I would think the key here when it comes to travelling in the wilderness is to start small and build up from there. This way you will develop a feel for your skills and be able to more readily gauge what is right for you and your own typical travelling speed over different terrain. This will make the use of the P.I.N. resource more reliable for you and those you lodge it with. It’s insurance but like any other insurance, it’s something you always want to have, while hoping there will never be a need to use it. Safe travels!

  • December 17, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    It can actually make or break your trip! Maximize your time. Travel itineraries like this ensure that you can manage your time as well as keep you safe.

  • September 19, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    I’ve travelled so much in the past but have never thought of using P.I.N I will definitely look into that on my next trip, thanks so much for this great initiative ?

  • May 28, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    I haven’t been travelling much these days, and I’ve never been thinking of using the P.I.N. After reading your article, I think it’s very important to take time and care preparing a P.I.N. before I set off anywhere. 🙂

  • April 27, 2017 at 5:07 am

    This is SO important! I should share this with all my solo trekkers. I always check in with my embassy before heading out of the country. This is something that wouldn’t have even occurred to me. Thanks!

  • April 21, 2017 at 4:37 am

    I have never heard of this specific form and resource, but it is a good method useful for the safety of all travelers. I definitely like to inform close family of my travels and check in with them periodically to let them know I am safe. I am so glad you have come up with this and informed us.

  • April 20, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    As a solo female traveler, I never leave home without sending the coordinates of my trip to my nearest relatives with the address to communicate if something does happen to me. This PIN checklist looks ideal for me and very straight forward and easy to use. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

  • April 20, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    I seriously have never heard of the PIN before. This seems so logical to me to have this. When I hike and camp I do this in smaller areas – and this could be such a lifesaver! Thanks so much for spreading the word.

  • April 20, 2017 at 9:44 am

    I would have never thought of giving an itinerary of my trips to someone, just in case something happens. I guess we are all so confident that we will find internet everywhere that we don’t think we might find ourselves in a situation in which we need help but we don’t have any signal on our phones. This is a great idea, I have heard of so many cases when people got lost and died because nobody could find them.

  • April 20, 2017 at 8:24 am

    We would say that PIN is one of the to do things in your trip plan. It is really very important that your family/friends known that your plan especially if you are traveling alone and in remote areas and this is one of the best things to do. Thanks a lot for sharing this.

  • April 20, 2017 at 6:12 am

    I would have never even thought of leaving any information with anyone. This makes P.I.N a wonderful method of finding somebody in the case of no contact for a few days. I would agree that a P.I.N is worth the effort before camping, it will probably help with planning too!

  • April 20, 2017 at 3:50 am

    We share our plans with our family always when we travel as a couple and make sure our cell phone is reachable. Hope we all have safe travels…but things can always go wrong and its good to have something like this to back you up. Also, Tripit is a great app to do so…simply add a viewer to your itinerary.

  • April 20, 2017 at 3:37 am

    This is some really solid advice. A real necessity for safety. I’ll definitely remember to use and lodge A PIN each trip from now on. Thanks for providing this for free.

  • April 19, 2017 at 7:38 am

    As a self-proclaimed outdoors person I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I’ve never heard of a PIN. But it seems like I need to. I’m an absolute believer in being prepared. Thank you, I’ll definitely look in to this!

  • April 14, 2017 at 4:25 am

    Another wonderful idea. I have seen people bring their medication (it stays in the cabin, tent, truck) and they go on about their adventure. No matter how small or large your trip is if something happens you need to be able to be found. On top of that if you get hurt Drs. find it very hard to treat you with knowing your medications and reasons why you take them if there is nothing to tell them this. The P.I.N. should be used always.


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