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Anson Herrington
(Arson) - F

Locale: Fishers IN
VIDEO: Lost! on 01/20/2012 07:11:41 MST Print View

I got lost on a day hike. The trail I was following ran out and I realized I had gotten onto a game trail. It was a minor setback to an otherwise lovely walk.

No matter your skill level, when you find yourself in the woods alone and you don't know where you are....... it helps you find out what your made of real fast.

Lost

Edited by Arson on 01/20/2012 07:19:24 MST.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Which IN trail? on 01/23/2012 20:28:22 MST Print View

Which trail´╗┐ were you on? Is it long enough to backpack?

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
I know the feeling on 01/24/2012 11:27:34 MST Print View

But I do think that as experience and confidence grows getting "turned around" is no big deal if prepared. The fear of being lost can be more dangerous than being lost.

I often hunt remote backcountry and spend the days following the lay of the land or game trails, animal tracks or just intuition. Commonly I discover I have no good idea of where I am. There are many ways to get "untangled" however. A GPS, a compass and map, or as often as not, just a compass.

A specific example: before the days of the GPS, I had tracked a bull elk for hours and was dressing him out until late in the evening when a storm blew in. I found myself standing on a point of a ridge looking through the thickly falling snow into a darkening drainage that I simply did not recognize. Sure, I had maps, but couldn't see far enough to orient myself. So then what? Well, I knew there was an east-west paved road maybe three or four miles to the north. If I missed my pickup at the end of a logging road, which seemed likely, I knew I'd eventually hit that paved road. I simply couldn't miss it.

It was getting to be a slog as the snow deepened but I wasn't worried. I had good clothing, a space blanket and fire-starting materials. As luck would have it, and it was primarily luck, I spotted a stump in the light of my headlamp and was pretty sure it was the edge of the clear-cut by my pickup. If I followed the highest ground north I'd find it. And that's what happened.

So I wasn't panicking and it wasn't because of bravery but because of experience in finding my way out when disoriented, and confidence I had the basics I needed to survive if I had to spend the night out there by myself.