How to Not Get Lost in the Woods
The woods can be a beautiful, but also highly dangerous place if you don’t know how to navigate your way through. These are a few tips and pointers that you should remember when enjoying the great outdoors to keep yourself from getting lost.
Map and Compass
This is the most effective way to not get lost in the woods; however, it does take a small amount of skill. You must know how to navigate a map and follow a compass. If you learn how though, you will find it very hard to get lost in the wilderness. Several sporting goods stores offer classes on the subject, you just need to call and ask. You can use a GPS as well, but you must remember that electronics can fail and it’s always smart to have a backup paper map on hand. If you’re not good at navigating a professional map, but prefer a visual approach, you can always map the trail yourself. All you need is a pencil, paper, and a visual mind.
Look Behind You
It’s very important when walking a trail to look behind you every once in a while. In the event that you do get lost and are trying to find your way back, you will be viewing the woods from the opposite angle. Checking how the area looks from the other way is a great way to familiarize yourself with the terrain and make it harder for you to lose your bearings and get lost.
Perhaps the simplest, but often times most overlooked way to not get lost in the woods is to just pay attention to your surroundings. Look at them, remember them, and you will make it that much harder to get lost. It’s very similar to driving in an unknown city, if you aren’t familiar with the street patterns and business locations, you get easily frustrated and easily lost. In your hometown where you know the streets and surroundings, you feel much more comfortable and can navigate easily. It’s the same in the woods. Pay attention to recognizable landmarks that can help jog your memory and help you get back on track.
The most important thing to remember when in the woods is to simply enjoy it. Be smart, but also have fun. The more relaxed you are the clearer your mind and the better problem solver you will be. If you let yourself panic when you think you may be lost, you will make bad decisions and get that much more off track. Just stay calm, remember the tips, and pay attention to prevent getting lost in the first place.