Most modern hiking trails tend to be fairly well-maintained and clearly marked, meaning that it’s pretty difficult to find yourself lost – but not impossible. Becoming lost is much easier if you happen to be in an area that’s particularly wild, and there are not a lot of other people visiting the region. There are a lot of hiking trails in the world that are truly in the middle of nowhere, and depending on the season, there’s a good chance that you might not come across another person for days at a time.
Getting lost can sometimes happen, but if you have the right knowledge and tools at your disposal, it doesn’t take much to make your way back to the trail or to civilisation.
It seems like such an obvious thing while sitting safely at home, but there are a lot of experienced hikers in the world that have met their ends in the woods or out in the mountains because they became completely lost to their own panic and made bad decisions because of it. It’s absolutely vital to never let yourself panic, as this immediately leads to you losing the logical side of decision making and you will often find yourself in an even worse position.
If you’ve confirmed that you are actually lost, the first thing to do is stop, sit down, practise some breathing, and start putting together a plan. The worst thing that you can do is let panic set in and then start running through the trees to try and find the trail again, as this can make you even more lost.
Use The Tools At Hand
Anyone with a passion for hiking will know that there are some tools that you should always have with you while you’re out in the wilderness. The first is a topographical map – this is a map that covers the relief of the area, and if you’re able to read a topo map, you’re much more likely to pinpoint where you are and find your way back to safety.
A lot of people feel that they can rely on their smartphones and their many apps, from trail apps to NZ slots online games, but there really is not replacement for a topographical map. Secondly, a compass is a must-have for any outdoorsman. They’re easy to use and can make all the difference when you’re out in the wild and aren’t completely sure exactly where you are.
Staying The Night
If it’s beginning to get dark and you haven’t found a way out of your predicament just yet, it might be time to hunker down and make yourself a small camp. The first thing to do is collect enough wood to make a decent fire, and to have it burn for a good couple of hours.
Consider rationing your supplies, especially water – making water last as long as possible can make the biggest difference of all.