Camping in the woods is a great way to learn life skills. Living in a tent amidst nature with bare necessities is a wonderful experience. Cooking over an open fire, getting water from a stream, and of course lying in your sleeping bag and watching for a shooting star. When packing for a trip you might even leave technology like games and phones behind. This is what being in the woods is all about.
Don’t Get Complacent
As beautiful as nature is you need to maintain respect for your situation. You are in a new place and if you do find you are lost first and foremost do not panic. Always assess your situation. Try and recount your trail and think closely of the turns you might have taken. Do not continue walking in a haphazard manner. Find out where north is and check in which you were headed when you first started out. Stay put until you decide on the new track you are going to take. Leave stones or markers so in case you notice your trail is not leading you anywhere you can return to your original spot. Scope out the area and look for signs of activity like old fires, pieces of wrapping paper, cigarette stubs or other trash that might suggest humans. Look for a trail or path that might lead to a shelter spot. In the woods you might find it difficult to see what is around you. Try and find a higher spot. In any case do not let anxiety over take you. Think slowly and recount what you are doing. Do not hurry as you do not want a physical injury added to your situation.
Prepare to Be Rescued
Try and find an open area where it will be easier for you to be spotted from the air. Keep a reflective mirror or bright clothing handy so you can signal passing aircraft. You can even use large branches. While in the woods call loudly or whistle, as whistling travels further, to signal your location. Try an follow a river downstream. It is always a good idea to follow a river in the direction it is flowing. It could lead to a homestead or even a lake where people live. Also you can fill up on fresh water if needed. Nighttime brings its own fears so once again keep calm. Try and settle down before nightfall. You don’t want to be walking around in the woods after night settles. Find a place a little away from water as you do not want to be in the territory of nocturnal animals. Look at the stars and check if they are in the same direction the night before. Temperatures drop at night so as the sun goes down make sure you adequately warm however hot it might have been during the day.
Being lost can get scary, but do not let fear overcome you. Always keep your thoughts controlled and think out your next actions. Keep a look out for other campers and listen for humans sounds around you. Find a place to settle down way before it gets dark. Depend on your senses and instinct.
Are there other ways you have avoided getting lost when camping in the woods? Tell us about it, our readers would be very interested in learning more.