If you’ve ever been lost in the woods, or just want to be prepared for the possibility of being lost in the woods, this article is for you. This article will discuss some ways that you can survive in the woods if you get lost, and how to get back home if you do.
Before we get started, let me just say that I am not a survival expert, nor am I an expert in the woods. However, I have spent many hours hiking through the woods and camping out in them, and I have read up on how to survive in the woods.
So, with that said, let’s begin.
What to do if you get lost in the woods?
The most important tip for survival, when lost in the woods, is to call for help and tell someone where you are heading. If you are truly lost, you should also report yourself to authorities. Most people don’t think to do this, but it may be vital for your survival. Here are some survival tips:
If you have lost your way in the woods, there are many things you can do to stay calm. You can try to remember why you were walking in the first place, and then relax and analyze the situation. Then, you can even drink some water to calm yourself.
While staying calm, try to focus on your surroundings. You might want to try looking for landmarks or listening for sounds. Try to stay calm and think of safe places to seek shelter.
Before beginning a search, stop and think logically about what you’re doing. Excessive anxiety clouds your judgment and drains your energy.
Using the acronym STOP (Stop, Think, Observe, Plan) will help you remain calm and rational. Once you’ve calmed yourself down, you can think about what your next move should be. It might be as simple as putting on a pair of sneakers or a belt that shakes to attract people’s attention.
Call Out for Help
During a hike or a camping trip, it’s a good idea to carry a cell phone with a backup battery and a signal device. A GPS beacon may also be beneficial. If you get lost, stay calm and try to understand how to call for help. Police officers will not search for you if you call out for help; they will collect information from you and dispatch an emergency response team.
If possible, find shelter and put up an SOS signal. If you have cell phone reception, you can update your voicemail with your location and last known coordinates.
Leaving the sign with no food is not a good idea. If you can’t find a shelter, you should lay out bright clothes and a blanket to make yourself stand out from the dark. The presence of these signs will attract the attention of a rescue plane.
Find Food and Water
When you get lost in the woods, there are many things you can do to stay safe and secure. One of the first things you should do is to find some food and water.
It’s important to avoid poisonous plants. After you have found food, you should also look for a way out of the woods. Fortunately, most people find themselves within a mile of their last known location. Despite this, you should always prepare yourself to wait out the weather and stay warm and dry.
Once you’ve realized that you might be stuck in the woods for an extended period of time, you should begin to gather firewood. Not only will this provide heat, but it will also signal your location to others who might be looking for you. If you’re still cold at night, you can boil water and light a fire. Make sure to start a fire before it gets dark. Make sure to keep it fueled, too.
If you’re ever in need of shelter in the woods, one way to stay dry is to build a shelter with sticks. You can use long sticks with multiple branches to make your shelter.
Make sure to lean the ends against one another to keep the shelter protected from the wind. After building your shelter, cover it with sticks and other natural materials. You should make the walls thick enough to prevent rain and wind from entering. Remember, the larger the shelter, the more difficult it will be to keep warm.
Building a shelter is one of the first steps you should take after getting lost in the woods. If you’re lucky, you can use a tarp to create a shelter.
Next, build a fire. A fire will give you the means to cook food, keep warm, and keep wild animals from attacking you. It can also make it easier to locate your way. However, you should always build a shelter that has a strong base of operation, such as a tree with branches.
To build a fire, you should choose a location that has enough wood. Make sure the location is close to the nearest wood source. A large boulder will create a wind buffer.
To build a fire, collect enough dry wood. If you do not have dry wood at your disposal, try using dry dung or bark instead. You can also use a plastic bag tied to a tree branch so that the water collected will be soaked up by the bag.
Next, you need tinder, which is a fine substance that burns quickly. These materials are commonly found camping and can be kept in your keychain.
Steel wool is another essential ingredient in starting a survival fire. You can also use small to medium sticks called kindling to start a fire. Start with the tiniest twigs, then move to larger ones as the fire grows.
Beware of Wild Animals
When you’re out in the woods, you might encounter orphaned wild animals. Although you might be tempted to feed them, you should never approach them. The human scent may attract predators and deter the parents from returning to their offspring.
To prevent a wild animal from smelling your presence, be sure not to approach or feed it. If you happen to come across an animal in distress, contact your local wildlife rehabilitator.
Carry Essential Outdoor Items
When you spend a lot of time outdoors, it’s not uncommon to get lost. Carrying a few essential outdoor items can make all the difference if you get lost.
If you live east of the Mississippi River, waterproof matches and an extra layer of warm clothing will come in handy. And if you’re hiking in the Appalachian Mountains, consider carrying a headlamp or a pair of hand warmers. You can also add a small flashlight and water purification gear.
First-aid supplies will include medications and bandages. You’ll also need a bee sting kit if you’re allergic to the venom of certain plants and insects.
A waterproof match set and butane lighter will also be helpful. A watch and cell phone are also essential. When choosing to clothe, avoid cotton. Synthetic materials are best. You should also carry a first aid kit that is updated and not damaged.
If you’re heading into the woods, you’ll want to carry an LED flashlight, which will last longer than a traditional flashlight. A waterproof bag for matches is a good idea as well.
There is nothing worse than getting lost in the woods. No matter how well you know the terrain, you’ll get lost fast. Your heart starts racing, and you start questioning your ability to get back home. How do you survive? These are all legitimate questions to ask yourself. If you’re not familiar with the woods, these are some helpful tips.