Make Your Own Watch ID to Carry Emergency Contact and Medical Information

watch-idThis is my first do it yourself post and it’s for all the running and hiking nuts out there.    I’ve read in a variety of articles and advertisements that when running, hiking, cycling or participating in other outdoor recreational pursuits, it’s a good idea to carry ID and emergency contact information.  I suppose that in the event that I get injured and am unable to effectively communicate with emergency responders, I would rather be an injured Jacob than an injured John Doe.

A few companies market ID products that cater to the running, hiking, cycling and outdoor enthusiast crowd, such as Road ID.  While Road ID’s marketing campaign has been effective at convincing me that it would be prudent for me to carry ID when participating in outdoor adventures, it has been ineffective at persuading me to fork over the $19.99 for “the Wrist ID Sport” (or $29.99 for “the Wrist ID Sport Elite”)[1] [2]

I’m already wearing something on my wrist:  my trusty old watch.  I figured I could put my vital information on my watch.  My watch can simultaneously tell me the time and serve as a transmitter of identifying information in the event I’m rendered unable to communicate – creating an efficient economy of wrist pieces.

Here’s how to make your own Watch ID:

  1. Print out your name and vital information on a sticker.[4]

  2. Stick it on the back of your watch
  3. watch-back

  4. Print out two more stickers that say “ID Underneath”.  Wrap them around the band of your watch.  These are intended to alert responders to the presence of the information on the back of your watch.[3]


  5. Go outside and play

For the sticker material I used Avery WeatherProof Labels for Laser Printers.  So far the labels have held up well to rain and sweat.[5]

Happy trails and may an opportunity to reference the emergency information on the back of your watch never arise!


[2] There are obviously a variety of alternatives ranging from simply carrying one’s driver’s license in a pocket to the recommendation of the Road Runner’s Club of America to “write your name, phone number, and blood type on the inside sole of your running shoe.”

[3] What’s important here is that emergency workers are effectively notified to check the back of your watch for information.  If emergency workers don’t notice this presence of the information, then your watch is useless…except for telling time.  Also, because of these notifying strips on the wrist strap, I’ve been advised by loved ones not to wear this watch in a non-sporting environment, or risk advertising my geekiness.

[4] You can also include a reference to a web page with more detailed contact and medical information. You might want to password protect the web page. But if you do, make sure to include the password on the back of your watch.

[5] You can use any other kind of label or mark that will hold up to weather conditions, sweat and whatever nasty stuff the back of your watch might be exposed to.

1 thought on “Make Your Own Watch ID to Carry Emergency Contact and Medical Information”

  1. This is excellent information. I once read that in the future we may have some sort of chip implanted into us for diagnostic purposes etc., The info watch sounds life a potential lifesaver

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