What to do if you get lost hiking
Heading out on the trail? Correct planning, a map and compass, will help you avoid Getting Lost. But what do you do if you get lost hiking to ensure you get home safely.
Here’s a few tips
- Don’t panic! This wastes energy and leads to poor decision making
- Stop, stay calm and think
- Separated from your group? Shout out then wait for a response. Don’t run blindly towards where you think they might be
- Retrace your steps a short distance and see if you can find the trail
- Check your map and try to determine where you are by the contours and your compass. You might need to gain some height for orientation
- If you have no idea where you are, STAY WHERE YOU ARE!
- If you’re in a group ALWAYS STAY TOGETHER! There is safety in numbers and rescue teams don’t need to be searching for multiple groups
- Make a cuppa to help you relax (there’s a teabag in your survival kit)
- Make your position visible to rescue teams by placing bright items (pack cover, bright clothing etc.) in an open and clearly visible area
- If you believe your life is at risk, activate your personal locator beacon (PLB)
- It can take time for rescuers to reach you, so your priority is to find or build a shelter to keep warm and dry. Remember to remain visible.
- Find a water source if it’s safe to do so and ration your food and water if necessary.