Lost in the Wilderness : What To Do If You Get Lost While Hiking

Hiking is a great outdoor adventure, but it can also be dangerous when you get lost in dark woods or on unfamiliar trails.

So in this article, we’ll cover the basics of hiking safety and what to do if you get lost while hiking.

We’ll also provide some tips for navigating tricky terrain and for staying safe in case of an emergency.

What To Do If You Get Lost While Hiking
What To Do If You Get Lost While Hiking

Tips For Staying Calm And Thinking Clearly While Lost

If you find yourself lost there are several psychological tricks you have to keep in your mind.

Avoid Panicking

If you’re lost in a remote area, it’s important to remain positive and avoid panicking. You should need to conserve energy until you find your way back.

If you’ll panick, you’ll only make things worse. Take a deep breath and try to remember your route.

Stay Focused

Stay focused on your surroundings and once you are calmed down, check your surroundings. Are there any landmarks nearby that you can identify? Are there any trails or paths that look familiar? Follow these routes if they appear feasible.

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How To Navigate Using A Map And Compass?

Now the second step is to take out all your navigational tools that can help you find your way back.

Use Map and Gps

A map is the most basic form of navigation as it shows both the terrain and the pathways used by hikers.

Make sure to get a map that covers your area of interest, because maps can vary in detail from region to region.

Another form of navigation is using a GPS unit. A GPS unit can track your latitude and longitude coordinates and will provide a map with those coordinates overlaid.

This type of unit is not always reliable in extreme conditions, so be prepared to rely on other forms of navigation if necessary.

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Survival Tips For Being Lost In The Wilderness

For a moment, imagine you are lost now, it will better for you to follow some necessary steps like:

What To Do If You Get Lost While Hiking

Know the kind of terrain

You should know what kind of terrain you are hiking on, what landmarks you can see, and how far away they are. If you’re hiking in unfamiliar terrain, it’s important to understand how the land slopes and twists. This will help you orient yourself and find your way back if you get lost.

Identify Signage Points

Many trails will have signage pointing the way back to the trailhead, so by following these points you’ll get you back on track quickly.

If you’re still lost, it’s also a good idea to check your GPS unit or map to see if you’re close to your destination.

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Consider Time

Time is a very precious thing and only enough time can save you from any hazard or danger. So keep track of the time by marking it on your map or compass.

If things start to go wrong, knowing how long it will take to get back home can help you decide whether or not to stay put or try and find a way out.

Take Deep Breaths

If you feel like you’re lost, take a few deep breaths and try to remember what landmarks you passed by on the way in. If that doesn’t help, ask someone else in your group if they’ve seen anything or know where you are.

No matter how lost you feel, always keep your eyes and ears open for any hints or clues that might lead you back to the group.

Search for Streams

If you are unable to use any form of navigation or reach your destination, remember to keep an eye out for landmarks or features that you may recognize.

Hikers often make good use of features like streams and mountains, which can help them orient themselves.

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Tips For Staying Safe While Hiking

While hiking, follow these tips to stay safe.

Stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Be prepared to take quick action if necessary.

Stay in a group when possible. Hiking in a group can help keep you safe and help you find your way back if you do get lost.

Make sure to carry enough supplies with you so that you can survive for at least a day if necessary. This includes food, water, and shelter.

If you feel like you are in danger, try to find a safe place to hunker down until the situation passes. If there is no safe place nearby, make noise so that others will be able to find you.

Aways take the time to rest and relax when you’re not in immediate danger – this will help you conserve energy and stay aware of your surroundings.

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How To Prepare For A Hike And Minimize The Risk Of Getting Lost?

What To Do If You Get Lost While Hiking
What To Do If You Get Lost While Hiking

If you’re planning to hike outdoors, make sure to take some precautions in case of a wilderness emergency. Here are a few things to keep in mind before your hike:

Carry a map and compass

A map can help you find your way back if you get lost, and a compass can help you orient yourself while hiking.

Leave a detailed itinerary

Include the names of all the landmarks you’ll be visiting, as well as the time of day and expected return time. This will help family or friends who are waiting for you if something goes wrong.

Carry emergency supplies

Make sure you have food, water, first-aid supplies, and tools such as an emergency whistle or sheltering kit. If something happens and you need to spend the night outdoors, be prepared for inclement weather conditions.

Stay together as a group

If possible, stick together during your hike so that if one person gets lost, they can easier find their way back to the group

Know the emergency numbers

Always remember emergency number of your region. In case of an emergency, dial 911 or 112 immediately and provide as much information as possible about your location (e.g., which direction you’re headed, and what type of terrain you’re on).

Before going hiking tell someone

Always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back. This will help you if don’t come back after a particular time. The informed person may help you by informing the police or related department.

Don’t go alone

Hiking in unfamiliar territory is more dangerous when there’s just one person present. Stick to well-marked trails and groups of people whenever possible.

Make sure to keep track of your location

Make sure to keep track of your location and movement through a map and compass, carry a whistle and flashlight, and avoid isolated areas.

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What To Do If You Get Lost In The Mountains?

While getting lost in the mountains can be scary, it’s usually not fatal unless you get lost in an area that’s very dangerous or uninhabitable.

And even then, most people manage to find their way back home eventually. So don’t be too afraid to get lost – it just might take a little bit longer than usual to get back home.

How To Find And Purify Water If Lost In The Wilderness?

There are several ways to find and purify water if you’re lost in the wilderness. One way is to look for sources of water, such as rivers, streams, and lakes.

If you find a source of water, it’s important to purify it before drinking to remove any harmful bacteria or parasites that may be present.

One way to purify water is to boil it for at least one minute. This will kill any microorganisms that may be present. Another way is to use water purification tablets or a water filtration system.

You can also make a solar still to purify water. A solar still works by using the sun’s heat to evaporate water from a dirty source and then collect the purified water.

It’s also important to note that you can find water in unexpected places like in cacti or bamboo.

Overall, it’s important to be prepared with a water purification method before heading into the wilderness.

How To Make A Shelter If Lost In The Wilderness?

If you’re lost in the wilderness and need to make a shelter, there are several options you can consider.

One option is to build a lean-to. This is a simple shelter that can be made by leaning a long branch or stick against a tree and then covering it with branches, leaves, and other natural materials.

Another option is to build a debris shelter. This is a shelter made from natural materials such as sticks, leaves, and branches. The materials are stacked and then covered with more branches and leaves to form a roof.

You can also use a tarp or space blanket as a shelter. You can tie a rope between two trees, drape the tarp or space blanket over it, and then secure the corners to the ground with branches or rocks.

If you have a camping gear or any tools with you, you can make a more complex shelter like a teepee or a A-frame shelter

It’s important to make sure that your shelter is well-insulated and that you have a fire source nearby to stay warm.

Remember that it’s always best to be prepared with some basic wilderness survival skills and to have the right equipment before heading into the wilderness.


We pray you never may be lost while hiking. If you are lost while hiking, it is important to stay calm and try to follow these tips.

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