Climbing helmet. Wedding ring. Mountaineering boot. What do these three seemingly disparate items have in common? They’ve each been lost — and found — on trails.
Losing stuff on trail is never a fun experience. Luckily, there are plenty of resources to turn to — including your fellow hikers — to check for lost goods.
Knowing where to turn is the first step in reporting lost and found items. Here are some resources to help you recover your stuff — or return others’ — faster.
File a trip report
Trip reports are an excellent way to reach out to the trail community, whether you’re looking for lost items or advertising what’s been found. Just ask CoreyG, who lost a pair of glasses on the Goat Peak trail while snowshoeing last winter. (Spoiler alert: The glasses were returned, along with a side of snark, by a group of very dedicated friends.)
WTA Pro Tip: Make sure to continue monitoring trip reports from the area you posted your lost or found item in. If you comment on someone else's trip report, asking about a lost item, don’t forget to select the “ Notify me of new comments via email” box when you submit your comment — this will ensure you're alerted as soon as someone's responded to your report.
Check out NW Hiker’s Lost and Found
This discussion forum thread is another frequently-used resource for hikers seeking their lost items or hoping to reunite owners with found items. Connect with NW Hikers.
Contact the area rangers
Kindly fellow hikers often take the time to turn found items in to the ranger station nearest to a trailhead. Locate the ranger station you need.
Lost and Found: Stories of Hikers Helping Hikers
- Trip reporter Zugspitze offers an example of how to report a valuable found item without giving away what it is.
- Wanderlust Wookies enjoyed some good trail karma for thanking another hiker who placed a lost item on the hood of their car.
- A tech-savvy recovery by a father-son team helped return a lost cell phone to trip reporter Dick Burkhart.