One of my practices is to carry a given color of plastic surveyor's flagging tape in my pack when hunting. Hunting partners carry different colors. When you decide to leave an area you had agreed to meet in, or change plans in the hunt, leave a good marker of flagging tape. On this flagging tape, write a message telling your partner, or someone who might come to look for you where you went, and what your plans are. Use an ordinary graphite/cedar pencil -it will write even if the flagging tape is wet, and remain legible even through severe weather.
Keep a pencil handy by taking a short pencil, drilling a hole through the metal eraser housing, and stringing it on your compass lanyard. This way, when you have your compass with you, you also have a pencil. It will write not only on your flagging tape, but also on a number of rocks or weathered slabs of wood gathered in the woods.
It is surprising once you get into the habit of marking your trail thus; you and your partners will use it more every time out, until it becomes a regular form of communication. Happy trails!
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