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Backpacker Magazine – March 2012

Travel Like a Pro: Prepare & Schedule

Get backcountry-worthy accident insurance and plan for good-weather windows and low-traffic trails.

by: Abbey Smith

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Travel Like a Pro
More adventure travel tips for Backpackers
Prepare for Mishaps
Get backcountry-worthy accident insurance.

Find the right coverage. Mainstream insurance often excludes high-risk or overseas activities, so check your current policy. Also, look for travel warnings on the U.S. State Department website (travel.state .gov). “If you visit areas with travel advisories, you may not be cov-ered,” warns Nathan Nicholas, a founder of Adventure Advocates, a nonprofit providing accident insurance to active travelers. “Purchase a travel policy that pays the full benefit regardless of your injury, or has options to build a plan specific to your needs.” Expect to pay as little as $10/month for a bare-bones policy, and up to $600/trip for a month-long expedition insured against nearly everything: rental-car collision, lost baggage, medical emergencies, trip cancellation, and accidental death. Always carry your plan info with you.

Use reputable providers. Work with a company that specializes in adventure travel such as Global Rescue (, Adventure Advocates (, or Nicholas Hill Benefit Group ( Pro photographer and climber Cory Richards credits Global Rescue’s international infrastructure and focus on high-risk sports for his quick evacuation from Nepal after he fractured his spine in a backcountry fall. Compare policy options on a site like

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