OVERDUE?? ... Keeping the relatives informed ...

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by geode, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. geode

    geode .

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    After watching the chaos resulting from gatogato's dropping off the radar screen during his recent trip through Panama it occured to me that most everyone here has a different idea of what "Overdue" means.

    What sort of keeping-in-touch arrangements do you make with your family / loved ones / friends? How long should they wait without hearing from you before hitting the panic button and calling out the search parties?

    Does it matter if you're travelling in your own country? Does it matter how old you are? Did it change when you got married? Had kids? Etc?

    Who gets to pick the "time-between-phone-calls," you or your family?

    Do you have a blanket agreement / understanding with your family or do you have to renegotiate this each trip?

    Do you diligently keep an up-to-date ride plan with them?

    What restrictions, if any, do you put on the amount of search resources you agree your family can call out on your behalf?

    Do you carry rescue insurance to pay for a search on your behalf?

    Who likes having this discussion with their family?

    errr, ... You DO have this discussion with your family, right? :ddog




    :ear :ear :ear
    #1
  2. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Good thread, G.
    #2
  3. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    I talked about this in the KLR thread last year. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3574437&highlight=larryboy#post3574437

    For me and mine the rule is leave me alone for 24 hours after the time I should have made contact or been home. 48 hours if I was riding with a buddy. If I'm AWOL at that time start making calls to find me...DO NOT CALL THE AUTHORITIES!!! Maybe post here to see if anybody has seen me...give me a coupla days before the real concern sets in.

    I e-mail a buddy or two prior to a big trip as to what my plans are..I do a Day 1=,Day2=...etc. I then keep this in mind and try to stick to this in general. This givesa basic route of where to look for me if I don't make it home.

    I have alot of life insurance and should buy more. If I were to die I've told my wife to cry a little, pay off the house and live life. No roadside memorial for me. My ashes would like to see the top of Eureka Dunes, DV...since there isn't a chance in hell that I'm gonna walk up there if I'm alive.

    If I were world wide like Gato I would be on a "I'll call when I want, leave me alone!!" type of thing.
    #3
  4. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Dependencies.......from other people and on other people.

    The 38 y/o Morman dude with 3 wives and a sht-load of kids looking for the next trail to heaven in remote places will have a different outlook than the silver-spoon, gap-year chick wanting to change the World while flicking off her parents, and the 58 y/o guy who denounced the World and still dealing with Agent Orange, and the 41 y/o ex-punker, ex-dot commer with more money than Jesus who is day-trading via satellite while patching his flat tire in the Atacama, and the 28 y/o hot Scandanavian chick who never really wanted to be a lesbian and is trying to escape those emotional and physical bonds, and the old-fart couple that just doesn't care what in the Hell is going on around them...and there are a couple of others....
    #4
  5. TymeRider

    TymeRider Been here awhile

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    +1 That was my philosophy on my 13-month South America trip. I planned my route as I went and never more than about a week ahead of time. I tried to send an email trip report once a week and include in there a rough idea of where I was heading. But it was just a just a guide and many times my actual route deviated from what I had planned. There were a couple periods of up to 2-3 weeks when I was "out of communication" either due to broken palmtop, no phones, or just having too much fun. I was and am single and fortunately have a family who didn't stress about being out of communication for periods of time.

    There's no right or wrong way to do it. Whatever works for you and your loved ones.

    What would Christopher Colombus have done?:wink:
    #5
  6. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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  7. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra

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    If you're like me, you frequently have problems working out schedules to hook up with other riders, so you ride alone. I frequent little visited places with infrequent to no cell phone service so if I biff at an inopportune moment, it may be awhile before anyone comes on my rotting carcass. My wife is pretty good about dealing with this but I always feel kind of bad about it (but not bad enough to stop) And thankfully, nothing really bad has happened.

    I have just purchased a Spot Satellite Messenger which is being discussed in another thread on advrider. Briefly, it has a gps and can relay your position via satellite to an email address. The unit costs $150 and the basic subscription service is $100/year. With this service, you can send 3 types of preformatted messages: 1) I'm okay 2) Send help 3) a message to an emergency center to send in the calvary. The message includes your location and a link to google earth showing where you are. For another $50 a year, you can get tracking. Every 10 minutes, Spot sends out your location. I like this feature as if I go down hard, I may not be able to push a button. At least this way, searchers will have a pretty good idea where I am.

    Now I'll feel better and hopefully, so will my wife.
    #7
  8. turbo_bird

    turbo_bird I'd rather be riding.

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    +1 for me, no plans, no phones, usually don't know or care what day it is. Been in a few tight spots with my brother but between the two of us we can do anything. Did 1000 miles as a prank once without really telling anyone.
    Kristian
    #8
  9. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    Could you give us a link? This sounds very interesting. I have a PLB but if I go down hard, I'm not going to be able to press those little buttons.
    #9
  10. jb

    jb waystupid

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    #10
  11. CASTIRON

    CASTIRON Solid, heavy, lo-tech.

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    Any travel of significance, I outline a P.A.C.E. plan with my wife and what it takes to skip to the next step. It's part of a detailed 'what if' plan for travel. How detailed depends on the trip.

    Primary plan=everything normal.
    Alternate=Plan 'B', not a biggie, just a detour of sorts. Really, it's part of the adventure, right?
    Contigency= Things aren't going well. Damage control. Try to get back on track after getting out of the area and doing a proper assessment.
    Emergency= How to get somewhere safe and prepare to evacuate home ASAP.

    In this planning we also discuss contact, what to do if it's missed, and how to re-establish it. There's also a FEDEX envelope with someone who can send it that has emergency documents in both printed and digitized form (which are also with me in a flash drive and stored somewhere on the internet).

    Having a plan for what to do when (so rarely if) things don't go according to plan makes for worthwhile piece of mind. This doesn't limit the freedom to travel, it just provides a safe backdrop. I usually venture off with just a bag and no reservations.
    #11
  12. G-Force Junkie

    G-Force Junkie Long timer

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    Since I live alone, a good idea I started was to call in to my answering machine if I was going riding or exploring or whatever. "This is Mike, I'm riding the sport bike up the 33 to the 166 today, leaging at 9am, should be home by 3." I figure if I ever got hurt or lost, the first people to realize I was gone would be work on Monday morning. They have instruction to call my partents if I dont answer my phone. If I was laying in a ravine with broken legs, at least my answering machine would give people a general idea of where I was that weekend and where to start looking.
    #12
  13. dlbiten

    dlbiten Adventurer

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    At one time Id have plans and tell family and frends where I was going Id borrow a cell phone and check in from at a set time. That was till i was late with a call once 3 hours late I had stoped to eat and make a call but no cell service there eat and finde a spot a little later. My mom has a went nuts needing to know rigth were I was. She and her sister were working them selfes up about me my Aunt was the one who waned me to take the phone. Well some pull off on 101 in norther CA south Garberville was not good enof. It was a 30 min. call with me trying to tell her I was ok and need to go I made hisssing sounds and told her I was losing service.

    I hade made that trip 5 time befor and no problim, been in snow storms, had survival training, and had a bike full of gear and was on a well used highway. If there going to fret about you there going to, thay seem to like it. Still havent told her I made a trip from Canada to Mexico with out telling anyone.

    I tell family if you dont here from me Im ok now. I dont tell frends anything any more. If I readly do need there help Im likley to far away and to far gone for them to help. How much can thay do? If you go down hard you arnt calling anyone so the people around will be taking care of you. for evac http://www.medjetassist.com/ hard to beat for the price.
    #13
  14. Krashdragon

    Krashdragon Been here awhile

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    Interesting replies.
    I didnt' do much riding this past year, but the year before I did a few runs cross country, on a crusier and a sport touring bike. Moved form Hawaii to Ohio to Texas... got rid of the ex, my two sons are still in Hawaii.
    My friends would call me and ask "Which state are you in now? We can't keep track of you."

    So it pbly can be as dangerous to be riding freeways cross country as off road, although a different kind of danger... although the closest I came was almost hitting a big chunk of road gator with my front tire, actually left it spinning in the road... oh...not counting idiots in cages...

    No idea what I would have done if something had actually happened. although I did drop my Harley trying to ride up a 40 degree gravel driveway in Virginia. Someone passing helped me.... it was the wrong driveway anyway... I was off by about 8 miles, no GPS then.

    Mary
    #14
  15. Chasqui

    Chasqui Adventurer

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    I guess that this is a relatively new technology. Google SPOT Messenger to see their web site. It is a satellite tracker that for around $100 lets you send "I'm OK" messages to select e-mails, and for an extra $50 will track your route on a Google earth map and send it to a web site that can be accessed by all that have the URL.
    Kinda neat uh? I'm thinking about getting one for my upcoming solo (so far) trip to Panama.
    BTW will be leaving early March and am looking for some company.
    #15
  16. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

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    The SPOT thingy looks pretty cool, and like a good deal as well. May have to look into that, as I enjoying riding alone to places that aren't saturated with people or traffic.

    John
    #16
  17. PapaBob

    PapaBob Adventurer

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    I usually leave a note or call my wife and give a general area of where
    I am headed. The time is up in the air. I figure if I'm said I'd be home
    sometime tonight and in the morning when she woke up she might get
    worried. If I'm going to be much later than planed I'll try and get in touch.

    I have asked her witch Deputy she wanted to notify her in case I'm dead.
    I really wouldn't care who it was if I was in the hospital.



    Ride Safe

    Andy
    #17
  18. petefromberkeley

    petefromberkeley -

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    :rofl
    #18
  19. petefromberkeley

    petefromberkeley -

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    I'm with you Geode. I never tell anyone to expect to hear from me. I've spent about eight years outside of the US just wandering around the world. I used to call home maybe three times a year. I'd send a few postcards maybe. Now with the internet I can stay in touch pretty well. Even still, I wasn't heard from for a few months on my last trip when I was out in Africa laid low with Malaria. Fortunatly nobody expects to hear from me. Well once my father said he was going to call the state department to have them look for me, but he would have had them looking in SE Asia when I was actually in Pakistan so it wouldn't have worked anyway.

    That tracking device sounds really cool. If I do another trip, I'll get that- and maybe some insurance this time (I prolly should have gotten insurance in the past).
    #19
  20. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    You might want to read about my experience with SPOT. There's a great thread here:

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=282391
    #20