No matter how many years you’ve been hiking, there’s always a chance of losing your way and getting lost. When a rookie hiker is lost in the wilderness, they tend to panic. Seasoned hikers use their experience to determine whether they should look for a way out or stay put and wait for rescuers.
Many new hikers make the mistake of relying solely on their cellphones for direction. Cellphones need cell towers to function, if there are no cell towers around, you won’t have access to online maps. Phones and GPS also function on batteries which only last a few hours.
Experts suggest that everyone take a physical map with them as well as a compass whenever they go on a hike. Not only should they take a map and compass with them, but they should also know how to use them in case they get lost.
On average, 24,000 formal search-and-rescue efforts are made each year in the USA.
If you do get lost, here’s what to do:
1. Don’t panic
Panicking is the worst thing you can go to when you get lost in the outdoors. The moment they realize they’re lost, people tend to run. It’s the mind and body’s attempt to quickly find it’s way out—the only problem is that you don’t know if you’re running in the right direction.
By panicking and speeding your heart rate, you’re only making matters worse for yourself. By running around, you’re exhausting yourself and risking injury.
2. Stop and Think
It’s very easy to get disoriented in the outdoors when you’re lost. Instead of running around in a random direction, stop and think about where you are and what you need to do.
Take a few moments to just breathe and retrace your steps in your mind.
3. Pull Out Your Map and Compass
A paper map isn’t anything to be afraid of, it’s simply a bird’s eye view of the place you’re walking around. Topographic maps used by hikers show highways, waterways, trails, contour lines, and vegetation too.
They’ll help you figure out which direction you need to walk in to get help. You may not know how to find your way back, but you can use the map to find civilization.
When you go hiking, there’s always a possibility of getting lost which is why it’s so important to carry essential items with you.
Light Hiking Gear’s award-winning backpacks offer ample space for your belongings. They also designed to reduce pressure on your shoulders, backs, neck, and joints so you can walk around without restriction of movement and agility.