Getting lost in the middle of a hiking or a camping trip can be quite troublesome. However, what makes it worse is that it can lead to other potential danger aside from simply losing one’s companions on a trail.
More often than not, people do not think of the possibility of getting lost while walking on a trail. They simply focus their attention on something else and find out later on that a companion has already been lost.
For instance, you see a beautiful landscape and stopped to take a picture. If you’re not paying attention to your surroundings, the possibility of losing your companions as they move on ahead is quite likely.
Saw a cute little bunny? While you were busy staring at it or taking pictures of it, you may have stepped on an unknown trail. How about taking a shortcut? It would be good if you know the trail, but if you do not, then it is a bad choice for it might only lead to you losing your way.
These situations are quite possible to happen. Thus, it would be good for people to be prepared and to know a few tips in order to decrease the likelihood of getting lost.
Here are a few things to start off:
1. Be aware of your surroundings.
First and foremost, you should be mentally prepared before going on the trip. At the start of the trip, take time to look around you and notice a few things.
Ask yourself a few basic questions. Where are you at the moment? Where did you come from? What direction are you headed to? Is there some sort of landmarks around you? What is the position of the sun with regards to the direction of the trail?
Knowing the answer to these things will help you remember what wrong turn you made, which in turn will help you find your way back to your campsite or to your companions.
2. Know the trail.
It would also help to know the trail beforehand. Before the start of the trip, a camper should know which trail to take and which turn to make.
As a camper, you should also know what to encounter at the trail itself, in order to avoid unexpected things to happen. Know what landmarks to expect and what to not. Knowing these will help you retrace your steps once you get lost.
Moreover, you should just follow the trail you know. Do not let yourself be sidetracked by possible shortcuts without knowing where it can lead you to. If possible, you should always bring a guide to help you navigate the way.
3. Don’t panic. Use your head and try to think clearly.
Here’s another tip. The moment you realize you already got separated from your group and has lost the trail, do not panic. Panicking will only lead to making irrational choices.
The moment you realize that you got lost; you should keep your calm and think back about your surroundings. Where is the sun now? Which direction was the trail going in relation to the sun? Can you see all the landmarks you’ve seen?
After that, mentally retrace your steps to a place where you are certain you’ve passed. If you’re not sure which way to go, then it’s better to stay put. Moving around without knowing where to go may just increase the distance between you and the trail.
4. Bring a tool to guide you.
Another tip which can help you if you get lost is to bring a few specific tools which can help you find your way back. Such tools may include a compass, maps, a pen and paper, or a handy GPS.
These are all quiet useful once a person knows the trail and knows how use these equipment. Thus, it is better to bring one and to learn how to use a specific tool before bringing one.
As said before, getting lost can probably happen to anyone, especially if you’re not paying attention. Thus, the greatest thing which can help you if you’re lost is your mentally prepared self.
How about you? How prepared are you? Review the list and check if you’re ready to go!