GETTING LOST—CHANCES ARE—YOU COULD !
Camping and outdoors activities are a really great way to get in touch with mother nature and to spend some "quality" time with yourself and even your loved ones ; BUT ; getting lost is a scenario you should always allow for in your mindset and basic preparedness.This note is not meant to scare anybody, just to inform and possibly make a difference.
Whether hunting,climbing,hiking,rescueing or just camping , in a remote wilderness area , both your family members and friends could get separated and ultimately lost; either individually or in groups; so everybody needs to be prepared and be aware of the do's and don't's in the wilderness and general common sense survival techniques.
Before you go off on your journey , tell somebody where you are going , how many are going, and the length of time you will be away so there is an outside person who can sound the alarm bells if you don't arrive back
Never think it will not happen to you ! Getting lost is a milestone event that even the most experienced bushmen can relate to and rememder the time 'they' got lost; these folks know the roller coaster of emotions you will experience from terror, to panic, to hopelessness , to desperation , ad infinitum; I will always remember the time I got lost and the chain of events that helped me get "out of there".
Always carry the basics for your outdoors experience, if you use a g.p.s.; these are a fantastic piece of technology; maps,compass,matches/lighter,knife , and then add on from there…tent,sleeping bag,water,first aid ; but the basic compass and map and some matches/lighter should always be carried.
Don't panic, stay calm and show this to yourself and everybody else around you as well ; just be ready to work it out when the time comes.
A simple and handy idea especially with kids is to carry a whistle, either in a safe pocket where it will not get lost or fall out or on a lanyard around the neck although this is not my preferred .
Although kids are always taught about 'stranger danger', this is a different position and that strangers could be rescuers [ some children have been recorded as having hidden from 'would be' rescuers ]
Once a person realizes that they are lost; STOP AND WAIT ! Settle down and think things out, stay calm.
Orientation methods are local to every location; such as ; the sun comes up in the west/east ; finding the north star and so on.
My favourite is to follow the streams/creeks downstream; since if you keep following the streams downstream , you will usually find 'civilisation' and have drinking water along the way.
If nightfall approaches- get ready for a night alone [ except for the creatures ] - both mentally and physically - you will hear every little sound in the darkness and this could get freaky.You may decide to find a campfire spot uphill from the creek away from the mosquitoes and where rescuers could see you come daylight; organize enough fire wood to keep it smoldering all night; a good fire is a warm comfort at this time ; but don't forget the saying 'the bigger the fire , the bigger the fool '.
Next morning; get the fire going steadily without starting a bush fire and put on some green leaves to make enough smoke so the rescuers can find you ; this is a long job but necessary.If you hear any noises just shoot your gun , blow that whistle or yell.
So don't worry—it happens—just stop/wait and be calm.
This way you can enjoy the great outdoors knowing fullwell that you can get yourself out of there!
These are just some of my thoughts on this matter and there would be plenty other great bush survival techniques 'out there'
Happy trails to you !
About the author
Donald Vanderlugt is the webmaster from www.campingandgear.com and has a love of the great outdoors with years of experience hiking,hunting and camping and generally getting about the wilderness; his site has a comprehensive selection of quality camping gear for that next great adventure,a free newsletter and real discounts;email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Donald Vanderlugt