Know What to Do If You Get Lost Whilst Hiking

Nobody ever goes out of their house with the intention that he/she will get lost. Getting lost while travelling and especially hiking could be terrifying, and no hiker would want to fall in such situation. But this can happen to anyone. In such a case, instead of panicking, ensure that you're prepared and know what to do if you're lost in the wilderness.

If you don’t know how you can calm your nerves in this scenario or what you should do, here are some tips to be kept in mind before you head out for a trail. We are sure you’ll feel more confident than before.

Pre-hike Tips for You

If you’re eager to learn something new, make sure you get there right with proper basics and complete knowledge. So, before you see what tips to follow if you’re lost while hiking, take a look at these steps you can consider before you leave for the trail.

  • Always inform someone where are you going and when will you come back. In this case, if you don’t reach on the expected day, the person can get alert.
  • Before you visit a new place, check your route and things you can expect from the same such as the landmarks.
  • Remember to take a compass and map along and you should know how to use them.
  • Keep an emergency kit all the time just in case you get lost.
  • Check the weather forecast and when will the sun set.
  • Your phone should be fully charged, and you should have emergency contacts in it i.e. mountain rescue.
  • If possible, do not go hiking alone.

While on Hike

Now, here are a few steps you should keep in mind, so it is easier for you to find your way back home if you're lost.

  • Always look for landmarks and see if you can locate them on your map.
  • After every while, you can turn your head and make yourself familiarise with the route for extra safety.
  • You can even take some pictures while you’re on-the-go. Take a few of them pointing towards the direction to go for.

If you’re lost

The worst thing you can do if you're lost is to start panicking the moment you find you're in the middle of such a situation. Go ahead and follow the STOP mantra, everything will be fine.

Stop: The very first thing you should do after you realise you're lost is to stop, have a seat, maybe can eat something, and see where you might have gone wrong. Collect all your thoughts calmly and see how you can step out of that situation.

Think: Now, when you've stopped, get in a comfortable position. Look around and see what made you take this wrong step and think about how you can manage to go back home.

Observe: Great observation sense is something every hiker and even traveller should have. See what is going around you. Are there any hikers or locals nearby? What about the weather? When is the sun going to set? What supplies are you still carrying in your bag? Will you be able to manage if you have to follow only this route?

Plan: This last step says, never take any decision if you don't have a plan. Based on all your observations and thinking, come up with the best possible plan and implement it.

So, here we put an end on our thoughts on how to save your lives if you’re lost while hiking. Precautions are many but if you keep these basics in your mind, half of your worries are already gone.

Author

A keen runner, skier and nuts about cycling. Karl lives in Cumbria, where he loves encouraging his two children to follow in his outdoor lifestyle. Whilst out and about keeping active, Karl keeps a diary and shares it with Outdoor Look.

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