How can I avoid becoming lost?

1) Stay on an established trail until you are very practiced in cross country navigation. Some people say, "You can't really be lost if you're still on the trail." This is not completely true. However, the vast majority of people that do become lost have either accidentally left the trail or have decided to hike cross-country.

2) If possible, hike with someone who is familiar with the area until you are also familiarized.

3) Learn how to use a map, compass, altimeter and GPS. And, don't forget to use them!

4) Don't be overly confident about your position. Stop often to find where you are on the map.

5) Be prepared for the possibility of becoming lost. Before you hike, tell someone where you are going and when you will be back. Ask them to call the Sheriff's Department or 911 if you are overdue. Bring a whistle, signal mirror, cell phone, matches and flashlight.

Related FAQs: What should I do if I am lost?
  Should I stay where I am if I become lost?