Trans4mind Home Page

Lost and Found in the Great Outdoors

By Maria Jeffs

Camping and hiking are wonderful ways to get close to nature. Adventuring in the wilderness is uplifting and refreshing. However, there is something important that every camper should be aware of on a camping trip.

If you're heading off into a remote area, there is always the possibility that someone, adult or child, will get lost. Prepare everyone in your party ahead of time with the do's and don'ts of navigation in the wilderness.

Someday you WILL become lost if you wander the backwoods long enough. The important thing is to be prepared when it does happen.

Have you ever heard the old adage, "Indian no lost; teepee lost." Be at home in the woods, and you'll never be truly lost. A night in the woods can't be too uncomfortable if you know how to deal with the situation.

Standard advice to a lost person: Don't panic. Everyone feels some trepidation, but never loose your sense of reason. Stop and listen to common sense. Don't let fear take over your sensibilities. Even experienced woodsmen have been lost, and panicked, then lost their life after becoming disoriented, losing their reasoning abilities to panic.

Instruct children what to do if they should become separated from you. Give everyone a whistle to hang around their neck. Teach a child that if he becomes lost, people will be looking for him, and not to hide from the "strangers" that are trying to help. Of course, they should know to be cautious around strangers at all other times. A recent boy scout who was lost in a Utah wilderness, stayed hidden for several days while searchers combed the woods around him!

Make sure your child understands that he shouldn't keep wandering when separated. Stop and wait for someone to come, instead of wandering farther away from the searchers.

Never head into the woods with out the basics along with you. Bring a map, compass, matches, and knife on every hike. You never know when something unpredicted will happen.

Bring along a compass and map of the area in which you are traveling. In these days of technology, a GPS is indispensable on wilderness backpacking and camping trips.

Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. If you do this, rescuers will know where to start looking.

There are many ways to find your directions in the wilderness. The most common way is to locate the North Star at night. The wind in wilderness areas usually blows from the northwest, so the tall pine trees will lean slightly to the southeast. This is another way that can be quite accurate. The old folk tale about moss on the north side of trees, can't be relied on for positive directions, as moss can grow on all sides of a tree trunk.

Follow a stream downhill. This generally leads to civilization. (In the US that is.) Don't walk along the immediate bank, where there are many thickets, bog holes, side streams, and swamps. Follow the general water flow and it will lead you out of the woods.

When you finally realize that you are lost, stop, don't make the search into a foot race between you and the rescuers! In most parts of the US you can't be more than 24 hours away from searchers, if you will just cooperate.

Sit down think things out. Build a campsite on a riverbank or lakeshore if possible. Gather as much wood as you can before nightfall. Try to make yourself comfortable next to your campfire throughout the night.

The next morning is the time to go about getting yourself rescued. Gather up a large armful of green branch and pile them on your campfire. The smoke will billow into the air, making it simple for searchers to find you. Don't build more fires, just keep the one you have billowing smoke into the air. Sooner or later the forest service will see the smoke, and come to check out what's happening. Wave a piece of clothing (preferably light-colored) to signal that you are unhurt. Even if the plane leaves, stay put. They are probably radioing to the ground crew your location.

Stay by your fire, even when you hear people approaching. It's dangerous to leave the fire blazing. Also, the sounds in the woods can be deceiving. You may just be running in the opposite direction of the searchers if you head off after voices. Give them a chance to find you. If you have a gun, fire a shot. If not, shout loudly.

Getting lost can happen to anyone, even experience backpackers. The most important thing, is to stay sensible and help yourself by helping the searchers find you.

True wilderness survival is a matter of prevention and preparation. If you are prepared every time you enter the woods, you'll never be caught unprepared. Then you can enjoy the wilderness fully, be confident and even if you get lost, it's just another adventure!

About The Author
Maria Jeffs is an avid camper and hiker. Her website, is an excellent resource for campers. Subscribe to the Camp Spot News for fun camping tips and stories delivered every month.

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
  • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
  • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
  • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd