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If you plan on visiting a Ghost Town:

Buy some maps, study them and bring them with you. I recommend USGS topographical maps for any trip.

Never travel alone

Know exactly where you are going and how to get back. Do not plan your trip after you get in the car.

Tell someone exactly where you are going, what route you are using to get there, when you are leaving and when you plan on returning. Your note should include:

  • Names, addresses, phone numbers and emergency contact information for everyone travelling with you. Make sure this list has cell phone numbers for every cell that is going on the trip.
  • Description of your vehicle including make, model, color, license and accessories such as bedliners, camper shells, toolboxes, sunroofs, rollbars
  • The time you are leaving, the time you expect to be travelling and the time you expect to return
  • How much food and water you are carrying, and if you are carrying shelter items. If you are packing tents, include their color and description
  • If you are planning a backwoods excursion and plan on carrying amateur or FRS radios, include the frequencies that you will use. Make sure to include Sub-audible tones, PL tones or privacy tones if you are using them. The radios do no good to rescuers if they can't talk to you.

Take a good supply of water - a minimum of one gallon per person per day.

Make sure your vehicle is in good shape. I can personally verify the importance of this next question : "Did you check how much air is in your spare tire?"

Take the right clothing. Yes, it's 80 degrees in Phoenix. It just might be 30 or colder in Crown King.

Do not enter any mine workings, shafts, adits, tunnels, winzes! When you are walking near ghost towns or mining areas - watch the ground in front of you. There have been several deaths in Arizona involving people who simply fell into open mine structures.

Travel with friends, and take two vehicles if possible. The second vehicle may be the difference between a crowded ride and a cold night in the field.


Signals in the desert are very important. Although very high quality radio gear can now be had at a pittance from stores like Wal-Mart and Target, I suggest going beyond FRS radios.

Above all, DON'T GET DEAD!

The Desert is not forgiving! If you don't know about desert travel, stay on the pavement and read about its treasures in Arizona Highways.

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Copyright 1995-2019 William M. Mogan All Rights Reserved
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