Buffalo Hiking Club Message Board › The Zero Essential
I coined the term "Zero Essential" as a way to focus the attention of those venturing into the outdoors on the need to always let a trusted person know where you are going and when you plan to return, because this is frustrating tragedy easily avoided:
Search and Rescue teams haven't been able to start looking for Matthew because they don't have enough specific information as to where he was headed, according to Detective Doug Hornbeck, who is leading the investigation.
Teacher Hiking on Summer Break Goes Missing in Calif.
The Zero Essential weighs nothing (because it is information you leave at home) but can mean the difference between your rescue (or at least recovery) and the heartbreak of never knowing what happened to you.
Simply put, before you pack any of the ten essential for a trip, be sure to tell a trusted friend or relative where you will be going and when you plan to return, and that you want them to promise to call the appropriate authorities if they don't hear from you by the agreed upon time.
"Police were notified Tuesday afternoon after co-workers became concerned that he had not showed up for work for two days without calling in...." is a failure in the planning of a hiking or backpacking trip, and it is inexcusable.
I shouldn't have my time in the woods disrupted by encountering your decayed remains because you were too inconsiderate to give a trusted or relative enough information to allow an SAR to find you either dead or alive.