Leaving a footprint on a sheet of foil could save your life when hiking, say rescuers

Person walking along beach with backpack, leaving a trail of footprints
(Image credit: Getty)

Leaving a footprint on a piece of foil in your car before heading out on a hike could help rescuers save your life in the event of an emergency. West Virginia K-9 Search and Rescue says that leaving a print of your hiking shoe will allow trained teams to focus on the right set of tracks if you become lost on your adventure.

In a Facebook post, the team suggest laying a piece of ordinary kitchen foil down on top of a towel, then stepping on it with all your weight to leave a good impression of the tread pattern and the size. They advise doing the same for everyone in your group, including children, in case you get separated.

You can then leave the foil on your car windshield so emergency responders know what to look for.

K-9 Search and Rescue is an all-volunteer group, who help emergency response services find people who have been reported lost or missing. They use specially trained dogs, some of which can differentiate between different people's scents and follow a person's steps from several days earlier Some can even trail people in cars from the scent that blows through the window or the car's air vents.

If you're planning to go hiking in the fall, the team recommend that you take time to prepare carefully, with proper boots and clothing for the conditions, and a daypack with a first aid kit, temporary shelter, food. and water. They also advise taking a trekking pole.

For fore advice. see out guide hiking essentials: the must0-have gear for any hike.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.