should I do if I become lost?
yourself doing each of the following.
will help you remember and may save your life.
1) Stop where you are.
2) Admit that
you are lost. Say it out loud.
Don't hike with someone who says, "I never get
lost." What they are really sating is "I won't
admit when I'm lost" and "I'm not very
experienced." Experienced hikers know that everyone
becomes disoriented once in a while. It's how they handle
disorientation that shows that they are experienced.
Hint: It's easier to say,
"I'm a little disoriented" than
saying, "I'm lost."
only when you can determine where you are and where you need to
go. Don't start hiking until you have a plan. If that plan is
unsuccessful, stop again.
Many people do find their way.
However, many people don't. A natural tendency is to try to head
for the city that they can see in a distance. This is usually the
most dangerous option. Many searches have turned into rescues or
body recoveries because of this natural tendency. There are only
a few safe routes off many mountains, especially ours, and the
few safe routes are usually blocked by dense brush which is
un-passable unless you are on the trail. Remember: If you
can see the city, then you are probably too high on the mountain
to hike down safely without a trail.
If you decide to
stay where you are: Use your whistle and signal
mirror to attract attention*. If
you don't have a whistle, begin yelling, "Help!"
Continually listen for searchers who will be yelling your
name. Start a fire if you can do so safely. It will keep you
warm and will brighten your spirits. Most importantly, it
will help searchers find you.
If you decide to
continue hiking: (The vast majority choose this
option) Pause every once in a while to use your whistle and
signal mirror to attract attention*. If you don't have a whistle, begin yelling,
"Help!" As you walk, drag a stick in the dirt
behind you. Push hard to make a good mark. Once in a while,
draw an arrow in the dirt to show which direction you are
traveling so searchers don't follow the line in the opposite
direction. If you are in an area where this is not possible,
draw arrows with rocks or sticks. Do this until you are sure
that you are no longer lost. All of these actions will help
searchers find you in a fraction of the time.
Note: Most people don't use a whistle or yell for
help when they are lost, usually out of embarrassment. This
is very unfortunate because there are many people in the
wilderness, usually closer than you realize, who can help
someone who is lost, not just searchers.