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Introducing the New HST ReConn Form

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Introducing the New HST ReConn Form

Postby maverick » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:07 pm

Fellow Members and Non Members,

The learning experience that came with the search for our friend and fellow
member Larry Conn last year had me thinking of some sort of way in which we
could speed up the process of relaying productive and vital information to SAR.
The hours, days, weeks, and months spent on trying to figure out which route
Larry may have taken, verifying the gear and clothing he may have had with
himself on this trip, scanning receipts, making phone calls to retailers, searching
computer files, all could have been bypassed by filling out this simple form
which is called the ReConn Form.
Many folks do not have family members or friends who can relate to the dangers
that we expose ourselves to when embarking on our trips, much less understand
how to contact authorities efficiently, which numbers to call, and/or what useful
information to relay quickly to aid SAR in their efforts to locate us.
Not being sure what trailhead was used, which routes where intended to be
climbed, what approach routes may have been used, what gear or equipment was
taken, can all hamper the search effort and costs precious time which could be
avoided by simply filling out this simple form before a trip.
This simple form that a hiker, backpacker, climber, or fishing person can fill out
easily before each trip, leaving a copy with family, friend, in the car, and a copy
attached to your wilderness permit copy you leave with the ranger, will add an
extra layer of safety for those of us who enjoy visiting the great outdoors.
Electronic devices like SPOT or SatPhone’s also add a level of safety but as we
have seen in the past they are not always reliable, this form will add another level
of safety to your outdoors experience.
The SAR members that were asked to give their assessment of the form said that it
would significantly make the chances of a person being found greater and it
would allow them to be able to concentrate their resources more efficiently. They
especially applauded the route description section, and emphasized its importance
for a SAR incident.
Some people dislike the idea of having to collect all the information on their own
because it takes time, well it has all been done for you with this form. A lot of
information stays the same (update any new gear) so these areas do not need to
be answered again, just copy and paste from the previous trip.
Please take advantage of this free form, it exists for your safety, and please don’t
put yourself, your family, and friends through the unnecessary stress and anguish
involved with such an incident when a few minutes of your time could avoid all of it.

New 2.0 Form: http://reconn.org
Last edited by maverick on Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:42 pm, edited 18 times in total.
Reason: modified form link
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org



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Re: Introducing the New HST ReConn Form

Postby maverick » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:01 pm

Fellow HST Members,

Bumping this thread back up for our new and current members to take
advantage of as the new 2014 season is upon us. Many new members skip
reading the "Announcement" section and dive straight into the "Backpacking"
section as we have seen from current requests for trip advice without
supplying any experience/background information.
Wishing everyone a great, and especially a safe 2014 season!

http://reconn.org
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Introducing the New HST ReConn Form

Postby Troutdog 59 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:42 pm

I'll be using it this year Mav with my wifes urging. When I was younger, it didnt bother her so much that I would just head off with her only knowledge of where i was going was me saying, I'll be hiking out of Fill in the blank) trail head to fill in the blank lakes. In hind sight, it was a recipe for disaster and I'm just lucky I didnt need help. Never thought much about describing my pack or my tent to her until Larrys disapearance. Figured my wife would remember my tent as she gave it to me as a gift in 2010. Asked her about it when Larry was missing, and she couldnt even recall the brand. As for my pack, she thought I was still using the Lowe Expedition she got me in 84 (have had two differnt pack since then). Since my return to packing in 2010 after a short hiatus (think kids and youth sports), I began leaving an itenary with my wife at her request, but its nowhere near as detailed as this is and I think the detail is good. Here in Fresno and I'm sure everywhere else, we hear of lost/stuck hikers each and every year. Most are found fine and in good spirits (JimR!!!), but we all know some have not fared as well. While I'm not on board with a SPOT just yet (key word is yet), I've no problem filling out the form. Gives my wife some assurance that if something does go wrong, she will at least be able to tell SAR what my plan was and I'd be lying if I didnt say it gives me a bit of comfort as well.
Last edited by Troutdog 59 on Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
If you stand in the light, you get the feel of the night, and the music that plays in your ear......
In your mind you can hear, a voice so sweet and clear, and the music that plays in your head......
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Re: Introducing the New HST ReConn Form

Postby maverick » Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:18 pm

Very happy to read that you will be using the form Troutdog 59! Getting feedback
from members who have or will actually use it, and also your reasons behind using
it is very important, and will hopefully spur others to use it as well.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Introducing the New HST ReConn Form

Postby Jimr » Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:37 pm

I'll be using the form twice this year. I've always left a detailed itinerary and that is why my little run-in with fate a couple of years ago turned out so well. My wife knew so much about my itinerary that SAR thought she had been there before. But, my wife had no clue that my tent was blue and grey. She was still operating on a yellow tent I haven't had for 23 years. Since that time and strengthened by Larry's unfortunate outcome (RIP), I've purchased a Fastfind 220, additional life insurance and will use the Reconn form to give my wife a more organized and detailed database for this year's adventures. BTW, my son is going with me again this year (not to the meetup), so the better the intel, the better she will feel about it.
What?!
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Re: Introducing the New HST ReConn Form

Postby Ska-T » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:17 pm

The form is a great idea! Since you want constructive feedback I'll provide some. I don't know how hard it is to alter the form or how it is implemented so take this with a grain of salt.

In short, my thought is that the easier it is to use the form the more likely it is that people will use it. One thing that would make it more convenient to use is the ability to save as many versions of your personal ReConn form as you like on your own storage device. \:D/

The form requires a substantial amount of information. Some people may sit down and fill it out all at once at it is now intended, others will want to add information a little at a time over a period of days. Many people will want to have a set of forms with different information (such as gear) to fit specific trip conditions. It would be great to be able to spend as little time on the form as possible before you hit the road.

For that reason I suggest adding the ability to save on your own drive as many versions of the form as you like. The IRS pdf tax form lets you do that. Presently, the ReConn help document shows how to save one version of the form only, as it overwrites the version that went before, or so it seemed to when I tried it last night.

I'm not highly computer savvy so maybe I am missing something. If so, please let me know and perhaps I can suggest ways to clarify the Help file.
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Re: Introducing the New HST ReConn Form

Postby maverick » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:58 pm

Thanks for the feedback Jim.
The purpose of reopening this thread is to get feedback from members who intend to use
it, or have used it already, and also the reason why you intend to use it.
Ska-T - Thanks for the input, any future comments or suggestions from members about the form itself should be asked here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10193#p76927 do not want to take this thread off topic by starting to answer questions about the form which is not this threads intent. Thanks
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Introducing the New HST ReConn Form

Postby Shawn » Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:38 pm

The thing about the ReConn form is it makes the task of creating an itinerary a very simple. Previously I'd typically create an itinerary at the last moment and then in hindsight notice I had left off some important details. If we're going to leave an itinerary,as we should, we might as well do it right and use a format which is constructed from a base of experience and expertise in SAR.

My trips are solo two out of three times and often off trail excursions; thus I put more weight in using the ReConn form because if things go wrong those details can make all the difference.
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Re: Introducing the New HST ReConn Form

Postby sparky » Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:31 pm

I love the new form guys....it is so easy to use. Nice work, it is a big improvement over the original. I will be filling one of these out for all my trips this summer. Especially for those of us that go solo off trail, it is simply a must.

I used the old form, and even that was great, but this one is so much more detailed by leaps and bounds!!
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Re: Introducing the New HST ReConn Form

Postby BSquared » Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:03 pm

The form as it is now is clearly meant for solo trips. While solo trips are of course the kind where such a form is the most necessary, multi-person trips are vastly more common, presumably even among the readers of High Sierra Topix. I'd suggest at a minimum some space for the names of other people on the trip, and of course the really spiffy thing would be some way to link several forms together for people on the same trip. Well, no, wait, that would only work if the form also came with a place in cyberspace for it to reside during a trip, wouldn't it? OK, never mind the links, but some space for "companions" would be useful. But in the future, wouldn't be cool if the worried party at home could just e-mail a URL to the sheriff's office, and have all the information just pop right up, with links to the forms of the others in the party? Maybe a link to the SPOT record if there is one? Medical history? Hmmm...all kinds of possibilities for invasion of privacy here. :D

Seriously, I'll definitely fill one of these things out, print it, and leave it with someone at home the next time I venture out. Great idea!
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Re: Introducing the New HST ReConn Form

Postby Buford » Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:45 pm

Just want to say thanks for the form. I will use the form along with an inReach with tracking this year.

It makes me and people at home more comfortable.
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Re: Introducing the New HST ReConn Form

Postby LMBSGV » Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:36 am

I love the new form guys....it is so easy to use. Nice work, it is a big improvement over the original. I will be filling one of these out for all my trips this summer. Especially for those of us that go solo off trail, it is simply a must.


Sparky says it all.
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