This is a guest post by our friend Harris A. Norman from prosurvivalist.com
Have you ever found yourself lost in a forest or in an unfamiliar place, with a compass and maps in your bag pack? If yes, then you certainly know what the feeling was like and you will never forget it. If not, we have prepared some tips on what to do if you get lost. It can be tough, but if you take our advice, we are sure that you will be able to handle it very well.
The simplest and best advice you can follow when you are lost in the outdoor is a positive mental attitude. We all agree that this is not a simple situation, but panicking and loss of hope is something you least need at the moment, so you need to think with a clear mind about further actions. You must always expect the unexpected and plan accordingly. Therefore, do not panic and think soberly. People will start looking for you as soon as someone realizes that you are missing, and this happens fast.
What you need is the right equipment, food, and water. Always bring more than enough food and water, because you never know how much time will you stay there and you want to be fully equipped. Appropriate maps and a compass that you know how to use are also necessary. But perhaps the most key thing to do when you plan on going somewhere far away is: tell someone, give the correct details of where you are going, the path you intended to go to, when you will return and who you are going with. All this is very important in case that you get lost, so someone has to know something about you, the whereabouts and other relevant information.
The next thing you can do after you calm down is to think about how you found yourself in that place. What landmarks should you be able to see? You have to try to figure out what direction you come from and if you can remember the path, even better. Take out the map and see what you can find out. Should you go north or south? If you remember the path that led you to your current place, try to go back, but only in case there is not much to the place you know. This is important because if you continue to walk and you have in mind that you are already lost, it is not good and there is no point in walking. It’s better to wait and think about the next step.
What can also help you are footprints and landmarks, therefore, pay attention. Try to find something you know or what’s left in your memory, and maybe you can solve the mystery of where you are. Remove the compass and determine the sides based on how you stand. The biggest mistake you can make is to walk aimlessly. This step is usually enough to get yourself in the space and to be sure of where you need to go in order to get back on track. Time estimation is also important. Estimate how much time you have left until the dark, because all traces may disappear overnight, and the following day, most of those cannot be seen. Check the weather, so if you see that a storm is coming up, find the shelter. Assess how much water and food you have, so try to consume it accordingly.
After all these steps, evaluations, and thoughts, the next thing you can do is to plan how and what to do. Make a few plans and then act on one of them. Make priorities, your own or the group’s and deal with them in turn. If you are sure which route to go, mark it on the map and try to leave some traces behind. These can be pieces of clothes, broken branches, sticks stuck in the ground or something else. This is good because you can always go back to where you were. If you are not sure of the path, it may be better not to move and let someone find you. If it’s dark, if you’re hurt or tired, do not move anywhere, it can only be worse.
First things first, being able to remain calm and have positive thoughts will help you find your way out. Nothing good can come out of panic and we pull the worst moves when we are afraid. Eventually, everything will be alright.
Healthy living and wellbeing have always been Harris’s main occupation. He’s a certified yoga instructor and in the last ten years, he’s taken up hiking and trekking as a way of taking care of his physical fitness and inner peace. He shares his experiences and advice on http://www.prosurvivalist.com/ as one of its revered writers.