View Full Version : Special care for your family while you play...

2005-02-08, 01:14
I have been going afield for the past 22 years hiking, hunting, fishing etc... and each time I am away, I make sure to prepare for and care for my loved one(s). What is meant here is going the extra mile in preparing for my absence. Each time I leave for a day or a week, (if my wife is not going with me) I leave a complete itinerary of where I intend to be, including map coordinates, trailheads, drainages, ridges, ect... We each have the same quality map of the area, and I will phone in any changes in plans. IE: "I will be relocating to Delorme' map page 60, B-4 thru B-6, Johnson Ridge area, drainages are Kettle Creek, Smith Creek, and Putnam Creek."

I provide a list of what vehicle is to be driven,vehicle description, vehicle survival equipment list, license plate, my driving route, my anticipated launch point. I also provide my wife with a detailed list of what I have packed on my back or sled, including a detailed breakdown of what survival gear is packed, and a copy of my survival plan, including emergency FRS/GMRS radio frequency to be used. I provide the phone number of area search and rescue authorities of each area I travel and explore. I keep foil boot impressions of every pair of boots I own and identify which pair I will be wearing on given trip. I finish with a "do not worry until" time, for which she can rely on. IE: "I will be home by 6pm Sunday evening, worry if no call to you by 6pm." or, 7pm, or 8pm, the point is to define something for your loved one, so they are not worried unneccesarily while you are away.

For longer trips, I will hide goodies around the home, or leave something special under a pillow. I have pre mailed a special note or gift to arrive soon after I leave. I have mailed a clue, to start my family on an extensive "wild goose" chase thru the home and yard, looking for other clues left in advance, to then find a special gift or treat. You can pre-order a flower delivery to occur while you are away. Have a friend mail a package to your loved one while you are in the bush. Mail a post card from the last town you pass. Hide a special note or two in the fresh towels, tape a note to the peanut butter, place note in a ziplock baggie and hide in the ice cream.

I consider myself an expert in most areas of outdoor survival. I make sure my wife is up to speed with what I know, so she knows what my skill levels are. Often I take a friend along, maybe on their first hunt, or hike, and she has received more than one late night phone call from a worried wife, and my wife has calmly explained that "Bob" is in good company in the backcountry.

Most of my information is stored on my hard drive, so I simply print out and tape to the fridge before my trip. The point of all of this work is to relieve your loved ones of the stresses of having you away.

What are some of the special ideas you have to make sure your family has peace of mind while you are away?

2005-02-13, 12:47
Good post Iceman!

For us, when he's on a short hike (like an overnighter) I just ask which campsite he'll be at or have a general area of the AT that he'll be on.

I guess for us it is a little different. The army doesn't always let the soldier tell his/her spouse where they are going to be, so after so many years of that I'm not used to knowing these things. I also don't tend to worry that much about him. The parts I tend to be more concerned about are if something were to happen to me here alone with a 7 year old...LOL.

Now if the 15 year old is here too then I don't tend to worry at all. At least I know he is available to help me out if I need it.

Guess I'm not the typical hiking spouse....LOL. Or maybe I am? I dunno. :)

2005-02-14, 02:41
Dixiecritter, thanks for the reply. The military may have hardened you for the away time/not knowing... Reflecting back on a few of the stories I have heard about guys cutting their arm off, because no one knew their general plan, reinforces my steadfast habit of leaving my itinerary behind. We just had a mountain biker die of hypothermia out here this week. Fellow abandoned his bike in his spandex, and did not make it home. Maybe if he had left a better plan with friends, he would be here today? Sounds like the two of you have a good understanding of each other, in order to make it all work!