Educating yourself on how to prevent getting lost in the wilderness is crucial if you’re going on backpacking or hiking trips.
Have you ever been lost in the wilderness?
It’s one of the most heart pulsating scenarios you could find yourself in. And I’d rather you never experience it. In this post, we cover precautions you can take to become lost-proof.
I’ve been lost just once before. And I still remember it vividly. I was about 10 years old or so on a family vacation in Canada.
I remember my heart pounding genuinely scared for my life. Lost in the wilderness in another country with nothing around.
Luckily I managed to get back, don’t remember how at all. I was lost for 3-5 hours.
According to BeFoundAlive, an estimated 50,000 SAR missions occur in the US each year.
Don’t become a statistic, follow these tips and any other useful guidance on how to not get lost.
9 Ways To Avoid Getting Lost In The Woods
Knowing how to avoid getting lost in the woods is one of the first skills you become an expert in if you’re going to be going on outdoor hikes.
1. Tell Someone
First, tell someone reasonably responsible that won’t forget, where you’re going. Remember the guy that didn’t tell anyone and had to literally rip his arm off of his body to get back to civilization. It might make for a good story and movie. But I’d say that’s not enough.
2. Prepare Beforehand
Prepare beforehand, as always. Get a map of the area you’re going and study it before going there.
Visualize what the terrain and your surroundings will look and feel like.
3. Plant Identification
Learn at least a few essential wilderness survival skills. Such as how to identify edible plants or find a natural source of water in the wild.
4. Navigate With Compass
Get a proper compass for navigation and learn how to use a compass if you don’t already know.
5. Build Self-Awareness
Look behind you frequently. Having situational-awareness in the wild is essential. Always know where you are, where you were, and where you’re going.
5. Seek Out Landmarks
Look for landmarks that you could use as a navigation point so you can always have your location in mind.
The larger and the more unusual the landmarks, typically the better it will be for you to use. Also, try to keep them in view if possible.
6. Navigate The Wild
When navigating through the woods, especially if you go off the trails, use primary landmarks as navigation points so that you can then travel in straight lines.
Straight lines are the key to navigating in the wild. It’s when you turn a few degrees here and fa ew degrees there that get you lost in the wilderness for 73 days.
7. Mark Your Trail
When you do identify a possible landmark, take a minute to study the details of it so you will better remember the landmarks. Blaze your trail and mark your path as you move through it.
8. Navigate Without a Compass
Learn how to navigate in the wild without a compass in case you lose yours.
Let’s recap how to not get lost in the wilderness on your next backpacking or camping adventure.
- Tell someone you trust
- Prepare beforehand by studying the area
- Develop essential wilderness survival skills
- Look for potential landmarks
- Use landmarks
- Study potential landmarks so you remember them
- Learn how to navigate
If you follow these tips on how to avoid getting lost in the woods, you’ll likely never get lost.
Have you ever drifted off a hiking trail before?