Lost While Hiking

Discussion in 'Survival Stories' started by Aneye4theshot, Jan 24, 2016.

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  1. Aneye4theshot

    Aneye4theshot Expert Member
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    Growing up in the early 80's I enjoyed scouting. Starting out as a Bear Scout and working my way through Cub Scouts, Webelos, and in the Boy Scouts, they taught me a lot that kids now days do not get to learn. Scouting is not as popular as it used to be. And even the scouting today does not seem to be the same as the scouting that took place when I was younger. One year I was on a camping trip with my uncle, and we were hiking in the mountains of Tennessee. Being the adventurous kid that I was I thought I would take a shortcut. My uncle and some friends were walking and didn't notice that I had veered off the path. Before I knew it, I looked up and didn't see anybody around. I was lost, and I started to panic.
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    Then I remembered that if I did not know which direction I was going or came from it was better for me to stay put then it was to go anywhere else. I had nothing on me but my Boy Scout pocket knife which I cradled as the Sun started to set in fear of wild animals. I managed to start a fire with a piece of flint stone. I was worried that I was going to spend the night in the wild alone but within about 30 minutes of starting my fire, my uncle found me. The smell of the smoke and the light from the fire in the woods was what led him to where I was. Had I wandered off into another direction I could have been lost for days and potentially injured. If you happen to get lost while on a hiking trip, sometimes the best thing to do is just to stay put and wait for help to arrive. Never go hiking without telling somebody where you'll be and what time you should be back.
     
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  2. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    first rule of getting lost is: DONT PANIC.
     
  3. Gene

    Gene Moderator
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    In te 70's at school we had a class called Outdoor Education and Survival, our instructor said if you think you are lost, the first thing is not to panic. If you think you are going to panic you should find the largest tree around you, when you find that tree you wrap your arms around it really tight. The object is so you don't panic and start to run through the woods. So if you panic enough you could rip the tree from its roots and sense you are holding so tight to the tree, as you run through the woods holding this large tree, the rescuers will see the tree as you are running around in a panic and find you.
     
  4. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    we were always told, if you are a smoker sit down and light up, if not then eat a snack bar or failing that chew a stick, anything to make you stop and think and not panic.
     
  5. Locktime

    Locktime Well-Known Member
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    If you have Sun, but no compass, you can find direction. Even if a digital watch and you know the hour, you can draw a clock face on the ground to find direction. Easy to learn. I never venture out without at least a compass. It is amazing you you can get off course so easily. Just a small kit can assist you.
     
  6. Gene

    Gene Moderator
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    One important thing to add is to let someone know where you are going and when to expect you back. If you do get lost, and I mean lost, not just turned around, sit your butt down and think about fire and shelter for the night. It's better to have a rescuer find you the next day nice and warm by a fire close to where you should have been, then to have your body found by a hunter a couple of months later miles from where you should have been.
     
  7. Dave3006

    Dave3006 Active Member
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    I was always told to carry a deck of cards and play solitaire. Pretty soon, someone will be standing over your shoulder to tell you where to place cards.

    Of course, that was a joke.
     
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  8. Gene

    Gene Moderator
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    Dave at times I don't think it would be a joke. But a deck of cards would help to pass the time after fire, shelter, and water is taken care of.
     
  9. remnant

    remnant Expert Member
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    It is also good to leave your phone contacts to the person you have informed of your hiking excursion. Its very easy to get lost especially where there are no landmarks. I have never got lost in the wild but I once got lost in the concrete jungle of a coastal town after failing to locate the hotel we were staying. I was rescued by a classmate when we bumped into each other when I was on the verge of despair.
     
  10. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    I cannot imagine myself being lost while hiking because I am always safety conscious. When me and my husband plus some others took an hour hike to the house of a family friend in the mountain, I was careful not to be out of sight. So even if I see some interesting items along the way, I just walk with the group and not mind the environment. What we fear in that particular place are the rebels called NPA (New People's Army) who are not really a bad group but we can never tell.

    But for the sake of this thread, let's assume that I got lost in that hike, hmm, what I would do is to stay put where I am. The best I could do is to find the pathway. As they say in the woods, there is always a pathway where the grasses looked stomped on. So if there are not pathway in sight, that means I have to stay put and wait for help for at least 1 hour. After that time, I really have no choice but to find that pathway.
     
  11. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Expert Member
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    I'm sure you learned a lot from that experience, I never got lost while hiking and I'm pretty sure I would panic if I were in that kind of situation, although I would try to stay put and make sure people can find me. I've read a lot of things online about clearing the path towards you by cutting the small trees and making a trail towards your location, not really sure if it works but it's definitely a good way to try. That fire saved your life, that's why I always carry fire equipment on me, you never know when you need to light up one.
     
  12. OursIsTheFury

    OursIsTheFury Expert Member
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    I have read several stories about people being lost in the wilderness and having "fugue states" where they completely forget what they did or where they came from, often wandering through the woods for days, and even weeks at a time, before either dying of starvation or being found by rescue workers. Usually, when interviewed, these people claim that they were not lost for weeks, but only for a mere few hours, and that they had no clue what happened and where they were going, and were always seen with memory problems if they were ever found alive. It's an incredibly creepy feeling, especially when you are all alone in the woods.
     
  13. cluckeyo

    cluckeyo Well-Known Member
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    When we were hiking the PCT out in California, one day we decided to split up and then meet further up the trail. He hikes faster than me, so he went ahead. After an hour or so as I was hiking, I came to a place where 3 trails merged. And it was only me, no one else around. I could not tell which one was the main trail. I took one and it led me to a lake. At both ends of the beach front area there were woods. These woods also had trails, at both ends. After much consideration I decided to go back to the place where the trails merged. And I just sat down and waited. I knew he would come back for me. It was a couple more hours before he arrived. He had to do some serious back-tracking.
     
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