Plan your trip from start to finish at home. Plan ahead to avoid crowded dates and places. Inform a responsible party of your itinerary, and where to call in case of an emergency. Include a full account of who is in your party, where you are going, when you will be back, and the approximate location of each night’s campsite, if camping or backpacking. Stick to the planned itinerary. Be familiar with the area of travel; use topographic maps and trail guides. Call ahead to find out about weather forecasts, permit requirements, regulations, and special considerations for the area. Check elevations and total distance to be traveled. Allow plenty of time to travel in rough terrain; plan your daily itinerary accordingly. Consider the level of experience and capabilities of others in your group. Never travel alone—use the buddy system.