Hiking is an activity that appeals to every traveler, which is why there are so many hiking trails, from easy to difficult, that everyone can enjoy this activity. However, while participating in this activity, there are so many challenges to face. The path can be wet and slippery, the sun can be scorching, a wild animal can attack, and bad weather can suddenly appear. These may be scary, and hikers may experience them at one point in their adventure, but getting lost in the wilderness may not be something anyone ever wants to experience. It may not seem like a big deal at first, but as the lost wanderer spends hours trying to find his way back, thirst soon sets in, and then hunger. As if that wasn’t enough, the weather can be rough, the trail can be thorny and it can be dark! This is very common in treasure hunting, when people search for lost gold deep in some of the world’s largest forests. It’s easy to lose hope in such a situation, but these tips will get you out of it unscathed.
10 Stop and relax
Panic is useless, especially for a person who has just realized they are lost in the wilderness. Instead of running in different directions, finding your way and getting lost, stop and take a deep breath. Get out a bottle of water, take a sip, and think. Stress may have caused memory loss, and if there’s one thing to deal with stress, it’s good relaxation.
9 When memory fails, use your senses
One can take a trip back in time to the scene in The Lord of the Rings when Gandalf and the Fellowship of the Ring were stuck in Moria trying to find a way out. After sitting and waiting to remember the correct route, the memory finally came with a smell. It might just be a movie, but it applies to real life too. In situations where memories have failed, one of the five human senses can bring back a memory of the route to be traversed. At this point, engage your senses. Smell the air, feel the direction of the wind, look around and listen. Like a radio, these senses pick up something that could lead to an escape from the situation.
8th Collect clues from the area
Footprints, vehicle sounds, and other signs of human activity can be useful clues that can help find a lost trail. If a clue is found, there is likely another one nearby. Find the next clue and connect them until a path is found. If the clue is the sounds of people, trace the sounds to where they are coming from. Remember, when memory fails, the senses can help.
7 Prepare for the night before it gets dark
If the day is already dark when you find out you’re lost, it’s best to prepare for the night when there’s still daylight. Gather wood, find a good spot, and build a fire. Try to get some rest so you have enough strength for the next day’s challenge. A good night’s sleep may be all it takes to reset the memory and find your way back on track.
6 call emergency services
When all else fails, a call can be life-saving, and the right call in this situation is to call emergency services. When calling the service, explain the situation on site in as much detail as possible and provide information about your current area of operation. A team of hunters can be dispatched to join the quest and this may result in finding the lost one.
5 create signals
If someone called for help, it obviously means help is on the way. But so that the rescuers can locate the lost hiker, signals must be created. There are many ways to create signals that work. At night, for example, a flashlight can warn rescuers from miles away. In this case, you only need to create flashes occasionally. Starting a fire also works because the smoke can rise high enough for rescuers to see the signal. To do this effectively enough, cover the fire with fresh leaves to increase the smoke, but this needs to be done carefully, especially in the summer when wildfires are easy to start. There is also room for creativity when creating signals. As helicopters are used in some rescue operations, a large stone SOS sign is clearly visible from the sky. Whistles and shouts can also be used, but one must conserve their energy as much as possible.
4 Be prepared in advance
One of the best pieces of advice one can get when going on a hike is to pack all the gear you need. The trek can get interesting and hikers can go much deeper than originally intended. With the right hiking gear, you can handle any situation. In case you get lost, one piece of advice might be to use a compass or a GPS, but this can only work for those who have the gear. It is therefore extremely important to always prepare properly, no matter what type of adventure you embark on, as the wilderness can be unpredictable.
3 Bring out those nomadic skills and stay alive to be rescued
The human ancestors were nomadic, able to survive in the open air. These abilities are still inherent in every living person, but only certain situations can spark them. Getting lost in the wilderness is a situation that can trigger one’s survival mode and spawn some survival skills. This will help one stay alive long enough for help to come. Sometimes a rescue mission lasts days or weeks, so you have to consistently generate signals to make the mission successful. A nomad finds food to eat, finds water to drink, keeps warm, fights infection, and fights fear, and so should lost wanderers.
2 Climb to a higher level
Trees, mountains, and other obstacles usually add to the confusion of hikers trying to find the lost path. An easy way to overcome this is to climb to a higher level and look around. A tall tree or mountain can serve this purpose, but care must be taken when climbing trees to avoid falling.
1 Retrace your steps
A good way to find a lost path is to take a step back. You can just imagine how they got to the exact spot where they are and then follow the map back until they get to an area they are familiar with.