Getting lost while we’re hunting, however rare, should be a important subject to every hunter!
It can happen in the Eastern hardwoods while chasing after whitetail, the Western Rockies while hunting for Idaho Elk Hunts or Alaska while in quest of moose, sheep or caribou. What makes this subject so important is obviously the fatal repercussions of not making the correct decisions when the circumstance arises. So today I’ll offer a few quick tips, that hopefully will help if such a situation ever occurs.
The first rule for every hunter is to never leave on an adventure of any kind without first telling someone where you’ll be going. I can’t stress this one enough. It’s a life saver, especially if you are hunting during the winter or in cold northern climates. The faster a search party can get to you is crucial and knowing the general area you are in will save precious hours which are critical hypothermia situations.
Secondly, never enter the woods without your weapon, a knife and and two quality lighters. A man can survive for an extended period of time in the wilds with these items, for weeks if necessary. So do yourself a favor and always carry them.
Third, a good rule of thumb is to stay put if you get lost. If you’ve followed step one and brought your lighters, you should be able to hunker down, start a fire and before too long someone will find you. Set up a little makeshift camp, especially in a location that is visible from the air, like an opening in a ridge line for example. When you get that fire going it won’t be too long before you’re spotted and help will be close behind. Sometimes however, a situation may arise where staying put is not an option and this is where my last tip becomes most important.
By far the most important advice I can give you in a survival situation is to NEVER lose your cool. No matter what, never panic. Think about it, you have only one tool to help you get out of the predicament you are in and that’s yourself. If you stay calm and believe in yourself you can survive the most dire survival situation, but it you lose your greatest tool, your mind, your chances of survival will greatly diminish. When you use your head it’s absolutely stunning what one person can accomplish and even if you’ve not a veteran of survival situations, your instincts will kick in and help out. What you have to do is trust them. Remember, you are all that you’ve got so you have to believe in yourself!