Steps to Take When You Get Lost in the Wilderness

Hiking through the woods, exploring a few caves and spending time in the wilderness can make you feel like a real adventure seeker. Experts often recommend that take at least one person with you, but if you decide to go it alone, you should always let someone know when you will be back. Exploring in smaller and larger groups lets you turn to others for advice and help when you get lost, but you can also learn what steps to take when you become lost in the wilderness on your own.

Plan for Your Trip

Never even think about heading out and into the wilderness by yourself unless you plan for that trip in advance. Even if you think that you’ll be home in a few hours, you should still have a plan in mind. Write a note that you leave in your home with details about where you are going and what time you will be home. You can send emails to loved ones with your trip plans too. Pack a bag that includes a few bottles of water, extra clothing, snacks and a compass too.

Stay Calm

One reason why some people get lost and never found is because they panic. When you panic in the wilderness, it’s easy to lose track of your surroundings and forget where you are. Panic can also cause you to bolt, which can lead to you going any further off the trail than you were. Try to stay as close to one spot as possible. While search and rescue teams will go deep into the wilderness to look for you, they have a better chance of finding you if you stay in the same spot. If they need to do a rescue from heights, your constant moving around may make it harder for them to get to you.

Signal for Help

Even if you don’t have a lot in your pack, you can still signal for help. Any type of reflective surface will catch the light and create a signal that others will see, including an old mirror or a piece of metal. Many hikers carry signal flares that let them shoot a signal high in the sky, which is helpful when you’re deep in the woods. While getting lost in the woods is scary, you can keep a calm head and get rescued.

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