Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.
When you find gear in the woods..
What is the standard ettiquette about ownerless backpacks?
4 days ago I was hiking a little used trail when I came across an overnight backpack sitting beside the trail. I gave a holler, nobody answered. Snapped a few shots of the pack for curiosity's sake, and kept going, as I was 2+ hours from more travelled trails, over 5 hours from my car with only 2.5 hours of daylight left.
Yesterday I got a call from the RCMP looking for information about a missing hiker. Turns out the pack was hers, she'd signed a peak log book less than an hour's hike from her pack 2 days before me. If I'd called in the pack the night I found it, Search and Rescue would have had a starting point right away when she was reported missing the next day, instead of spending another 24 hours searching before other hikers reported the pack.
When I saw it, I figured someone was answering nature's call or looking for a campsite, maybe going somewhere for a nice photo. Respect for others' property generally means don't touch, but the backcountry might be a bit different?
At what point would you check a backpack for ID, or call it in right away?