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Never Get Lost Again

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May 10, 2011
Never Get Lost Again - 3

The happy ending to the story of the Boy Scouts lost in Arkansas last week serves as a reminder of a crucial element to wilderness survival: Lost-proofing onself.

Getting lost is one of the foremost ways people wind up in survival situations in the outdoors. It happens all the time, and it’s probably happened to most of us, whether we are willing to admit it or not. I’ve been a little lost before. It’s terrible, and the worst part is how stupid you feel.

But here’s the good news: Getting lost is usually easily preventable. How do you avoid getting lost?

• Get a map of the area that you are traveling to and study it prior to your trip.
• Use the map and a compass (or GPS) while you are there, and constantly be aware of your position on that map. 
• Imagine what the terrain would look like from a bird's-eye view and visualize your place in that terrain. Think of that little “You Are Here” arrow on the big map at the trailhead, and keep it updated in your mind.
• Look behind you frequently, especially if you will be returning in that direction.
• Look for big, unusual landmarks and keep the landmarks in view as much as possible. 
• When traveling off the trails, use prominent, distant landmarks and/or a compass to travel in straight lines.
Finally, always make sure somebody responsible knows where you are going, and when you are supposed to becoming back.

photo by: bios

Comments (3)

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from Bob Hansen 6/9/2011 at 01:00pm

As per another post...ALWAYS give responsable people your agenda...where you'll be going, and when you expect to be back. Also give others your cell phone number and carrier (sometimes your location can be gotten through your cell phone even if it reads "no signal" or "low battery").. Study road and topo maps of the area in advance, and know how to use a compass.

Another hint: How can searchers recognize your footprints among others in the mud or snow? Proviide others with your shoe's tread design simply by standing on a piece of aluminum foil, and giving them the print(s). Keep these imprints in clear plastic sheet protectors.

Pathfinder Bob Hansen

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from JustAnElkLover 5/12/2011 at 09:18pm

Friends....please, please, please always tell someone where you are going and NEVER go alone. If you want to hear a very sad, totally true and preventable story about a preacher that came to Wyoming with his dog and had a horrible accident in a boulder field where he became trapped, google it. He deviated from his scheduled plans at the last minute and told no one. His dog stayed with him until he died many days later. He would have been found had he only told someone where he was going. Just too sad!!!

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from DirtyDave777 5/11/2011 at 12:36pm

It never fails to amaze me how many people I run into every year asking for directions.
All they know is where the Trail Head was & where they parked.
Some how a maintained trail is supposed to keep them safe?

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Write a Comment Your comment (200 characters or less):

from Bob Hansen 6/9/2011 at 01:00pm

As per another post...ALWAYS give responsable people your agenda...where you'll be going, and when you expect to be back. Also give others your cell phone number and carrier (sometimes your location can be gotten through your cell phone even if it reads "no signal" or "low battery").. Study road and topo maps of the area in advance, and know how to use a compass.

Another hint: How can searchers recognize your footprints among others in the mud or snow? Proviide others with your shoe's tread design simply by standing on a piece of aluminum foil, and giving them the print(s). Keep these imprints in clear plastic sheet protectors.

Pathfinder Bob Hansen

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DirtyDave777 5/11/2011 at 12:36pm

It never fails to amaze me how many people I run into every year asking for directions.
All they know is where the Trail Head was & where they parked.
Some how a maintained trail is supposed to keep them safe?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JustAnElkLover 5/12/2011 at 09:18pm

Friends....please, please, please always tell someone where you are going and NEVER go alone. If you want to hear a very sad, totally true and preventable story about a preacher that came to Wyoming with his dog and had a horrible accident in a boulder field where he became trapped, google it. He deviated from his scheduled plans at the last minute and told no one. His dog stayed with him until he died many days later. He would have been found had he only told someone where he was going. Just too sad!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Write a Comment Your comment (200 characters or less):