It is better to carry a clear head on your shoulders than a big pack on your back.
Yet in going alone into the forest it is well to go prepared to get lost. A fish line and a few hooks, matches in a waterproof box, a compass, a map, a little concentrated food, and a strong knife carried along may save a lot of grief. A gun may help as a signal, seldom as game. A thinking man is never lost for long. He knows that surviving a night in the forest he may awake to a clear dawn and readily regain his location.
His compass may be useless because of local magnetic attraction but he may know what kind of vegetation grows on the shady and what on the sunny side of a ridge.
He knows that streams going down and ridges going up do not branch. He knows that wild food which sustains animals may be eaten sparingly; that he will not die of hunger as quickly as of thirst; that he must remain where is is or push on to some definitive objective, but not the point of exhaustion; that someone will be looking for him, and strength in that knowledge makes hardships easier.
Keep the old brain in commission and the chances are you will come out of the woods on your own feet. The Siuslaw National Forest in Oregon covers more than a half-million acres in the Oregon Coast Range mountains and is also home to many unique coastal ecosystems. Within the Forest is the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, one of the largest remaining expanses of coastal sand dunes in the world.
Our National forests and Grasslands provide million acres of prime stargazing. On your next nighttime visit, keep these tips in mind to maximize your view of the stars! Want insider tips and cool stories about our National Forests? Sign-up for tree-mail, the e-newsletter of the National Forest Foundation. If you enjoy this article and find it useful, support the NFF to ensure we can continue helping you and others discover our National Forests.
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Blog What to do when lost in the woods c. Forest Service Facebook Twitter Pintrest Email. Take a fun step back in history with advice about what do when if you find yourself lost in the woods. Scroll to the bottom to see the original document from the U. Forest Service.
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Give them exact details of where you are going, the trail you plan to follow, when you will return, the vehicle you are driving and where you plan to park and how many people will go with you — do not go alone. S top:. If after careful planning and consideration you decide that you try to rescue yourself, here are some tips to remember:.
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If You Get Lost The best tool needed for survival in the event you get lost outdoors is your skill of advanced planning. Your essentials should include at least: More than enough food and water for the activity you plan. A compass that you know how to use.
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You may want a GPS device, but those sometimes do not receive a signal or the battery fails. Cell phones also likely will not work because of a lack of signal. Appropriate maps. Study the terrain and your planned route.
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Know where you are going and how you will return. Sturdy hiking boots, clothes that you can layer depending on the weather conditions and additional socks in case the ones you are wearing get wet. A blanket, flashlight, matches kept in a water-resistant container, and other items that will help you survive overnight if necessary. Check with the local ranger district or forest office for special warnings, such as fires in the area, bear sightings, flooding, trail or road closures, etc. If you do become lost your most important tool is keeping a positive mental attitude.
S top: As soon as you realize you may be lost: stop, stay calm, stay put. Panic is your greatest enemy.
Finding Your Way Out of the Woods
T hink: Go over in your mind how you got to where you are. What landmarks should you be able to see? Do not move at all until you have a specific reason to take a step.