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The Terrors of Backpacking, Camping and Hiking

July 29, 2008  |  Difficulty: Easy

We all know how horrifying it can be to be lost in the wilderness. The terrors of backpacking, camping and hiking are always lurking around the corner. Nevertheless, if this does happen to you, it is important not to panic. Don’t believe us? The following is a story that perfectly explains why you shouldn’t react in this manner.

Four friends excitedly went camping in a Northern Oregon wilderness zone. While their trip was supposed to last four days, it unfortunately didn’t go as planned. During the second day, the hikers decided to navigate through an unmarked area. After all, who doesn’t enjoy an adventure? Despite the fact that all four hikers were experienced, they were weak when it came to reading maps. As time went on, the men become more and more disoriented. Seeing as they were already lost, it became impossible to retrace their footsteps.

The hikers begin to panic. The men decided to move even further into the wilderness, perhaps because they were too disoriented too truly think. Fortunately after several days, a search party found them deep into an unmarked area. While they were malnourished and disorientated, they luckily survived. Even still, if a search party had not arrived, chances are likely that they would not have made it.

Sadly, these incidents happen quite frequently. If you are afraid that this might happen to you, it is imperative to read the following:

How to Prepare for an Excursion
  1. Familiarize yourself with the area – study maps and do your research.
  2. Develop a plan and make sure all parties stick to it.
  3. Make sure that you are prepared – bring along every vital necessity.
  4. If you come across fellow hikers, be sure to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to say that you are lost. They will be more than happy to guide you.
  5. Be smart with your decisions. Do not go into unmarked territory.
How to Find Your Way Back

Do you love to hike but just can’t shake the fear of getting lost? Despite the fact that this problem occurs quite frequently, there are ways you can prevent it. According to the Emergency Response Institute of Olympia, Washington, the S.T.O.P rule will bring you to a solution.

  • STOP: When you realize that you are lost, you absolutely need to stop, relax, and collect yourself. Panicking only heightens the problem and makes it difficult to think with a clear head. Don’t know what you should do? Sit tight and don’t move until you are ready to act responsibly.
  • THINK: It is critical that you mentally trace back your steps. Think of different physical hints and signs that you may recognize. Was there something that stood out during your hike? This may be a feature on the map that will help you. Once you locate your position, you can find alternative routes. Just make sure you weigh out your options.
  • OBSERVE: Again, you have to always be aware of your surroundings. By attempting to observe what is around you, you will be able to find your path. If you just cannot remember anything, it is vital that you don’t move. This is one of the most common errors, as the majority of people keep going further. This only makes it more difficult to get out.
  • PLAN: Everything in Life needs a plan. If you are with other hikers, make sure you work together to brainstorm one. If it’s possible, try discussing a series of plans and choose the best one. When a plan does not work, go back so square one, and review the S.T.O.P rules. With a little common sense and a list of reminders, you should be out of the woods in no time.

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