This is a follow-up post from my Sherando Lake Fathers Day Adventure. In that post I said I had used ineversolo.com as my "Plan B". I guess I should have posted that was my Plan C.
I am one that believes that planning a trip is just as much fun as the adventure its self. I love pouring over paper maps, guide books, trip reports, on-line mapping and GPS files. Most of the trips that I plan, I will be solo on. Sometimes this is by choice, but most of the time its because my schedule.
Anytime that you are going off on a ride, backpacking, bikepacking, touring or any other outdoor adventure you need to let somebody know where you are going and when you will be back. That's just being smart.
If you are one that just takes off on your adventures or your are new to this or just don't know where to start I would like to suggest the Boy Scout Fieldbookas a great place to start.
I always have a plan "A" and a plan "B". Plan "A" is my main plan and if everything works like it should or as I planned it, everything is great. My plan "B" is a fallback to my plan "A". During my planning I figured I could hike/ride so far by such and such time. Or I am getting water or food at this point. If I fall short of my distance or can not make it to my camp I will then adjust to my plan "B" and I know what that is going to be. Most people have a plan A and B and a lot of times plan "B" is on the fly.
Well what happens when your plan "A and B" go south? Then there is plan "C". Plan "C" is the rescue plan. You either need someone to pick you up or make the call for SAR. This is where telling someone where I am going and when I will be back will help you out or save your ass.
You can do a couple of things here. The person that you are telling where you are going and when you will back, you could just leave them your trip plan or all those maps and guide books. Or you could have GPS tracker that you paid anywhere from $99- $150 for the tracker and then that much for the service for a year. Or you could use something like ineversolo.com
First generation of ineversolo.com
You can register here for a free account. The picture above is what the Create New Plan looked like back in June. If you look at the left side of the picture you will see the word Waypoints. I had a bit of an issue with this term and it just made things confusing. So I sent in a feedback email which was responded to in about 10 minutes by Jed the CEO and Founder of iNeverSolo.
The Waypoint page: The term waypoint was confusing me. Waypoint makes me think of a LAT/Long or GPS location. Not the start of a trail head or feature. Well I guess it could be one of those points but I would reference it by LAT/LONG not by description.
Jed emailed me back a couple of times over the week and said that they were in the midst of several website changes. A couple of months after my trip and the Create New Plan page has changed. Seemed to have simplified things a bit.
I like the second generation of the website much better. It's all on one page instead of being under different tabs. It is a much cleaner too. You cannot see it in my picture, but at the bottom of the page is where you can add files such a GPX files. You can manage your contacts from the plan page. This is who you are going to send you plan to when you start. Here's a tip about starting your plan. In my case I would start my plan from my house with travel time built into the plan. You can activate the plan from an icon from your smartphone, but that plan can fall apart if there is no cell service at the trail head. How do I know.... So either start from the house or the last place that you stop at before you hit the trail that you know that has service.
Now, let's say that your epic trip is taking you longer than the end time that you set for yourself. If you have cell service you can update the end time. If you do not and you cannot update the plan then the site is going to send a massage to your contacts that you are over due. I set my notification delay for 45 mins after my trip end time. You can make this notification between 10-120 mins. I did feel pushed because of this feature. I know now just to give myself more time.
Remember to always let someone know where you are going, how many will be in your group, and when you will be back.iNeverSolo will be a tool that I use on all of my backcountry adventures.