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Jennifer’s Tips: Avoid Becoming a Missing Person

| Updated Jun 21, 2023

Our Roadtreking friend Mary Z recently shared a fascinating article from Outdoor magazine that notes 1,600 people go missing from our public lands each year.

They’re doing stuff like hiking, jogging, exploring – you know, the kind of stuff many of us are doing or plan to be doing soon.

Many who go missing are never seen again.

Mary, who used to work for the Forest Service posted this on our Roadtreking Facebook Group, earlier this year but it seems appropriate to share, not matter the time of year.

Says Mary:

“I am retired Forest Service and I have seen this happen so many times people disappear without a trace. If you are solo make sure people know where you are headed. I witnessed people disappear on Forest Service roads, and no one had an inkling they where they were. We found several dead in unexpected locations. Let your family know your plans and if you hike solo, as I do, take less risk and sign in to those trail head logs, your life may depend on it.”

Mary’s post brought some good responses and even more tips:

“Always carry a little, but loud, whistle. I include one in my first aid kit, camera bag and glove compartment,” said Rick.

“My husband always lets me know which trail he is taking and what time he should be back by,” wrote another Facebook reader.

And Connie added: “Be very cautious following your GPS. More than once we have been directed to forest service or township roads totally unsuitable for a vehicle, especially a Roadtrek. Keep road maps up front (along with common sense).”

For an in-depth discussion on hiking safety and how NOT to get lost, listen to the interview we did with hiking expert Douglas Scott of the Wilderness Society on a recent episode of the podcast. You can hear it at

Have a tip or suggestion for the RV lifestyle? You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile device to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

For a complete list of all the products, gear and apps mentioned by Mike and Jennifer on their podcast, YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel and here on the blog, go to

Jennifer Wendland

Published on 2017-09-03

Jennifer Wendland travels North America with husband, Mike, in a small Motorhome. She has worked with Mike as a television producer and traveled extensively all over the world. She is a self-described "gym rat," enjoying fitness and exercise wherever she goes. She is a certified Water Aerobics instructor and has taught large group classes in leading health clubs for more than 20 years. She and Mike have three grown children and seven grandchildren. They travel about two weeks out of every month. When not on the road, they live in southeastern Michigan.

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