When you are out hiking in a group or with a mate, there will be a point where someone has to leave the hiking trail to visit natures bathroom. It is all too common for people to simply walk off the trail, pack in hand when nature calls. You may need to leave the trail briefly to check out a cool plant, fungus or wildlife. If you are leaving the trail to look at something or for a toilet stop, make sure you leave a sign.
You might be surprised to learn that many people have become lost after wandering a short distance off the trail. In some circumstances it is easy to become disoriented and not remember where you came from. When you leave an item on the trail at the point where you left, others know where you left the trail and will have a better chance of finding you.
Personally I prefer to keep my pack with me and leave a non essential item from my pack. This way, if I become lost, I know I will have the necessary gear with me to keep safe until I am found. Make sure you leave something as a marker. Your pack cover, hiking poles, a hat, anything that will indicate this is where you left.
Leaving a sign is an easy way you can improve your safety.