Leaving a Trip Plan Is Super Easy With The AdventureSmart App
Mountain Safety
November 27th, 2020

Leaving a Trip Plan Is Super Easy With The AdventureSmart App

One of the best ways to ensure your safety when you're riding this winter is to leave a trip plan with a responsible person at home.

AdventureSmart, Canada’s national prevention program for outdoor recreationalists, has made this step too easy by providing a free trip plan smartphone app.

Completing a trip plan is extremely important. It explains your destination, travel route, equipment and expected return time. It is vital information to assist authorities searching for you in the event of an emergency.

NO ONE EVER expects to get into trouble outdoors. But, a turn in the weather, mistake in judgment, unexpected injury, equipment failure, or sudden nightfall can quickly change any recreational outing into a crisis. Does anyone know where you have gone and when you expect to return?

AdventureSmart Trip Plan App

With the AdventureSmart Trip Plan app you can easily create very detailed trip plans and share them with your friends and family with a tap of the smartphone screen.

It’s super easy. You start by creating a trip, then fill out some information about where you plan to go, when you’ll be back, who will be with you in your group and what you’re carrying.

How To Create a Detailed Trip Plan

First up, add the contact information for people in your group. This is is super easy—you can select from the contacts already in your phone, or add a contact manually. You choose what contact method to use, phone or email.

Next, choose a departure and return time. The return time is important, because if you don’t make it back in time, the app will automatically notify your chosen “responsible” person by your choice of email or text message.

AdventureSmart Trip Plan App

You can also provide some crucial information that can help responders find you in an emergency. This includes details of the location of your adventure—where are you leaving from, what is the destination, is it a loop? etc. You can add the purpose or type of activity as well.

There are two handy lists of essential equipment that you can check off to note what supplies you’ll have with you.

  1. The first is the AdventureSmart essentials list—these are universally useful items such as a flashlight/headlamp, fire-making kit, signalling device, extra food and water and so on.
  2. You can also select an additional checklist of items based on which type of outdoor activity you’ll be doing.

The app makes it very easy to quickly make note of what equipment your group will have on hand, which can make decision-making by Search and Rescue personnel much more informed.

The final step is more open-ended. You can add notes to provide more clarity on your group’s situation. This can be anything. For example, maybe one of the members of your group is diabetic. Or perhaps your group is well-prepared and might stay out an extra day if the weather is good. This step really allows you to customize the details of your trip.

What Happens When You Don’t Return on Time?

Let’s say something goes wrong, and you don’t make it back in time to mark your adventure as completed. What happens?

Well, the contacts you provided when planning your trip will be notified that you haven’t returned. You can decide ahead of time how you’d like this notification to arrive—it can be via text message, email or as a notification alert if the emergency contact also uses the app.

The message will explain that the person has been listed as an emergency contact, and that the group is overdue. It suggests contacting the participants to confirm if they are okay. If that doesn’t work, to try contacting the other emergency contacts, if any, as listed in the notification. Otherwise, it is recommended to contact local authorities (contact information is provided depending on the province selected in the trip plan) and provide them with the detailed list of information in the trip plan.

The message also lists all information in the trip plan—location, destination, point of return, times, group members, activity type, purpose and what essentials are with the group. This is all the information that Search and Rescue groups could possibly hope to have at their disposal, all neatly provided in one place! So great.

AdventureSmart Trip Plan App Overdue

AdventureSmart Trip Plan App

Finally, the AdventureSmart Trip Plan app not only allows you plan your own trips, but it can also be used to keep tabs on the trips of your friends who also use the app.

The app is a really great tool that provides solutions for two typical problems for Search and Rescue: 1) discovery, in a timely manner, that a group is overdue in the first place, and 2) provides detailed information that can help SAR understand the situation and help the group be located quickly.

The app is intended for use solely in Canada, and it is available free in the Apple App Store for iOS devices and on Google Play for Android devices and can also be accessed from any web browser. 


– MS