It's sort like being punched in the face. You basically want to avoid it as much as you can, but there is something to be said for knowing what it feels like. And if that knowledge can help someone else, then maybe the damage you took ultimately helped out in aggregate.
I built myhikeplan.org because I wanted to bone up on my MVC and Azure skills. And if you're going to build something, you might as well aim to be helpful in the process.
So what does it do?
0.5) It's free, just to get that out of the way.
1) MyHikePlan lets you file a backcountry plan. When you head off into the middle of nowhere, it's a good idea to write down where you're going. But more than that, if you ask search and rescue (SAR) professionals, they'd like to know more. They want to know what your skills are. What any medical problems might be you started with. They want to know what type of weather and conditions you were expecting, as those are directly tied to how you prepared yourself. They want to know, in your words, what you were thinking.
2) If you're late coming back from a trip, a simple one-pager is emailed to your emergency contacts with instructions on how to notify proper authorities. And that one-pager is perfect for printing off and handing to everyone from chopper pilots to ground search teams.
3) You can tweak it all from your mobile phone, so if you want to make some adjustments to your route or alert settings, you can do that right up until the last minute.
I've been slowly adjusting the site, getting little bits and pieces of information from the search and rescue community and plugging in suggestions as I can.
Normally this information is handed over to a friend, but there are some subtle breakdowns that can happen with that. For starters, there's no clear format with required information when giving info to a friend.
More broadly, it's not your friend's responsibility to ensure SAR teams have the info they need: it's yours. You need to pick a clear photo of yourself. You need to describe your route in your words. You need to describe your existing medical situation.
Think back to the "telephone game" in grade school. While you or a loved one is dropping further into hypothermia, hours are wasted patching together and passing along information that should have been compiled in advance with nothing lost in translation between you and the people on their way help you out.
And before anyone asks, I registered myfloatplan.org ... that one's up next.