How not to Get Lost in the Woods

How not to Get Lost in the Woods: a Reminder for Nature Lovers

With the onset of warm days comes the time of hiking in the woods. There are many reasons to go out into the wilderness, some go on vacation, others for mushrooms and berries. But no matter what the reason, everyone can get lost in the woods. Useful information on how not to get lost in the woods will help avoid trouble and even save your life. This is especially true for children, who, due to their carelessness, may be the first to become prisoners of the forest.

What things are necessary for a hike in the woods not to get lost

When going on a hike, make a list of things you need in advance. They will help you get back in one piece or help you if you do get lost.

  • Compass. A basic device in any nature hike. The ability to use it correctly guarantees safety in the forest. The rule is the same – the magnetic arrow always faces north, regardless of where and where you are going. Thus, it will be easier to orientate yourself. For example, if you enter the forest in the east, you should go back in the opposite direction, i.e. west.
  • Phone. Thanks to advances in technology, you can stay in touch wherever there is coverage. Before going for a walk in nature, take care that your cell phone is charged, but it is better to take a spare battery. There is one secret if the battery is dead: take it out of the phone and rub it against your pants (sweatshirt, T-shirt, shirt, etc.). The main thing is to warm up the battery. This prolongs its vitality for a few minutes, which is enough to call the rescue service.
  • An axe and a knife. Even if small, these items will make it much easier to get wood for the fire.
  • Fresh water. No matter how long you plan to hike, you should always have a supply of water.
  • Food supplies. This can be the most minimal set: canned food, dry noodles, breadcrumbs, etc.
  • Matches, a lighter, a flamethrower. These are indispensable items for making fire. A lit fire can help you cook food, dry your clothes, and get warm. Prevent matchboxes from getting wet by wrapping them in clingfilm or plastic bag. Lubricate each matchbox with clear nail polish or wax. In very Spartan conditions, you can make a fire with a goggle lens. Hold the lens against the sunlight over the dry leaves and they will catch fire.
  • Clothing with long sleeves. Its no secret that the woods are a favorite place for mosquitoes, ticks, snakes and other creepers. T-shirt will protect you not only from insects but also from insidious sunlight, wind and sand.
  • Rope and a paper clip (pin). Use these items to construct a fishing rod and provide lunch or dinner. Bend the sting of the pin into the shape of a hook, put on a dug up worm or other bait, and wait for a nibble. If only a paper clip is handy, sharpen one end of it against a rock and use it as a hook. You can also use the rope to bind twigs for a hut or to construct a trap.
  • Salt, pepper. These seasonings will give flavor to the caught fish or game fish. You can use pepper to disinfect wounds.
  • Kettle. Of course, going for mushrooms, is unlikely anyone will take with them a kettle. But it is better to reinsure and put in your backpack, albeit small, but such a necessary utensil. Instead of a pot you can use a teetrapack from under the juice. You can use it to make yushka or tea from birch bark (mushroom that grows on the trunk of a tree closer to the crown) with lingonberry leaves.
  • A raincoat or raincoat tent. In case of bad weather, you will be able to take cover and reduce the risk of getting wet and getting sick.
  • Sun and insect repellent. The woods are home to many living organisms, many of which are likely to want to take a bite out of you. Repellents will keep you safe from their encroachments.
  • Whistle. Its more useful for children. So they can signal their location if they get lost.
  • A minimum supply of medications. This includes painkillers, antiseptics, plasters, bandages, including elastic bandages.
  • A flashlight with spare batteries in case we have to stay in the woods overnight.
  • In addition, it would not be out of place to make a plan of the campaign and mark it on the map. That way it will be easier to navigate and your loved ones will be able to find you in case of trouble.

What to do if you get lost in the woods, a memo for children and adults

The first thing to do when you get lost in the woods is to calm down and concentrate. This will help you concentrate on the sounds and remember the details you encountered when you first entered the forest. Maybe there are landmarks around you that you can use to find your way out. Immediately use your cell phone, call relatives, friends to the rescue service. In general, the more people will know that you are in trouble, the better. Making calls, try as clearly and quickly as possible to explain where to look for you, without wasting precious battery power. After that, you have two choices: stay where you are and wait for help, or look for a way out yourself. In the second option, follow certain instructions:

  1. Try to walk in small increments so as not to walk in a circle. This is due to the fact that a persons right leg is slightly longer and falls to the side. Walking in your usual way, there is a risk of returning after a while to the point at which you started;
  2. look for a body of water. It is very common for people to build their dwellings near bodies of water. Moss and lichen can help in the search. They grow on the wet side. Walk downstream and if you are lucky, it will lead you to people;
  3. do not go deep into the thicket. If you see that the forest is getting thicker, go back or you will be harder to find;
  4. Its almost dusk and they still havent found you. You will have to spend the night in the woods. To do this, find a windless place, gather brushwood and build a fire. If possible, you can build a shelter from branches, the main thing is to do it before dark.
  5. A lost baby should be confident that he will definitely be found. Teach him to stay in place and wait for help, be sure to respond if he is called. You can knock with a stick on a tree trunk, such sound travels farther than a human voice, especially a childs. Explain to your child in advance that you can not drink from water and eat unknown berries and mushrooms.

How not to get lost in the woods, the rules of orienteerin There are certain landmarks that help you not get lost in the woods. There are various ways to determine the side of the world, and if you do not have a compass or navigator at hand, the signs of nature will help you do it. Try to remember which side of the sun was on when you entered the forest, because the use of the side of the world without this information will be little. The following signs will help you to know where north or south is:

  • Ant hills are located on the southern side of trees and stumps;
  • In the south, the crowns of trees are more lush and the bark is softer, while on the north side, on the contrary, it is rougher;
  • softwood resin accumulates more on the south side;
  • In spring, the grass is thicker in the north, and in summer, on the contrary, in the south;
  • forest berries are red on the southern side, and slightly greenish on the northern side;
  • the shadows of the trees look north.

You can find out where north is with an ordinary stick. Stick it in the ground and see where it casts a shadow, there is north. When you have just entered the forest, try to memorize landmarks and, if possible, mark them with a marker. Remember that early in the morning, at 6 or 7 oclock, the sun is in the east. Closer to 10 oclock it moves to the southeast, and at noon, 12-13 oclock to the south. In the evening, the sun will position itself in the west.

What not to do when lost in the woods

Nature has its own laws, and people must know and respect them. Violation of the rules of conduct in the woods can cost health and sometimes life. Beware of animal trails. Its easy to distinguish them from human ones, the branches above the path will close at your chest level. Though such a path may lead to a source with drinking water, but a meeting with a bear or a wild boar there will not make you happy.

Do not continue on your way if you think it will soon be nighttime. It is better to think of a place to sleep and rest, so that in the morning with new strength to continue the way.

Do not drink unboiled water. Divide your food supplies so that you have enough until you are found or you get out of the woods yourself. Try not to eat unfamiliar plants. You can distinguish edible from poisonous by traces of bird droppings around it or pecked berries. Poisonous plants include;

  • The fruits of the mottle, which in appearance resemble a large black cherry;
  • hemlock mottled, these are small ovoid or round, flattened on the sides fruits;
  • The wolf berry looks like bright red, pea-sized balls.

Poisonous mushrooms are the well-known fly agaric with a red or white cap, pale grebes, looks accordingly, vomit russula and others. All the names and appearance of inedible plants can know only an experienced botanist or professional tourist. The average person is better to put in your backpack a book with an indication of dangerous plants and animals. The latter can also be harmful to health, such as snakes, ticks, spiders, etc.

Having learned the simple rules of conduct for those lost in the woods, you will not get into a difficult situation, and if it happens, do not get confused and be able to get out of it unharmed.


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