Survival - Lost in the Woods - Part II

Once again, I present to you, Theodore "Ted" Danielson.  He now presents his second part of a two part series on how to survive if you find yourself lost in the woods (or wilderness if you prefer).  

As I stated in the first part of this series, I will now give you a few pointers and tips that will help you if you find yourself lost in the woods.  Some may or may not seem common sense to you.  No one intentionally gets lost.  So, do not get down on yourself if you find that you are lost in your trek in the woods.  

As I said earlier, the first thing you must do, if your find yourself lost in the woods, is do not panic!  That is probably easier said than done, I understand.  But, being in a panicked state will not help things.  If you calm down, you may be able to find your way back to safety.  More times than not, that actually happens.  People will calm down, get their bearings and make their way back out of the forest.  But, the following is for you who have suddenly determined you are irrevocably lost.  I have studied the best methods over the years.  These are what I consider the best.

1.  Stay in one place.  If you are lost, most likely you are not far from where you started off the nature trail or where you could be easily found.  You make matters worse by continuing to try to find your way back.  Accept you are lost and prepare for the night.  I can't emphasize this enough.  Preparation is key.  Hopefully, you let someone know you were gone hiking or just making a venture into the woods.  If not, then you are in trouble.  You will most likely have to find your way out by yourself.

2.  As I did as an 11 year old boy back in Part I, YELL as loud as you can every hour.  It's possible there are other people around you.  It didn't help me.  But, it might help you.  

3.   Build a fire before the sun goes down.  Hopefully, you have some matches or a cigarette lighter with you.  Click here for ideas to start a fire if you do not have a fire source.  I would suggest you get as close to a heavily leafed tree as possible.  Take leafy branches and lay on them and put them on top of you.  You must keep your body heat throughout the night.  Predators come out at night also.  Which leads me to my next point...

4.  Build some kind of weapon.  If you do not have a knife or hatchet, get a thick stick that you can comfortably swing.  This could come in handy.  

5.  This should probably be #2.  You need to build a shelter.  A lean-to is the easiest and best shelter you can build.  This should go hand in hand with #3.

6.  Depending upon the time of day, you should mark where you are.  Get as many rocks as you can, construct them into an arrow pointed to where you are.  The bigger the arrow, the more likely you can be seen.

7.  Water.  You may be able to go 2 or 3 days without water.  But, if you wait 3 days, it is going to be too late.  Look for streams without straying too far away from your designated area.  Look for flights of birds over head, birds chriping nearby.  Animal trails is another good indicator of a water source.  You need to boil the water if possible.  But, barring that, you have to drink the water, contaminated or not.  You must survive, no matter what it takes.

8.  Look for berries.  If you are unsure of the type of berry, do not eat it.  It could be poisonous.  Avoid mushrooms, again, if you are not sure if they are poisonous.  Mushrooms can kill you if you get the wrong kind inside your system.  Look for insects such as grasshoppers, worms and just anything that you feel won't hurt you.  I know it sounds disgusting.  But, you are in a survival situation.  You do what you have to do to make it through this ordeal.

9.  Look for trees that you can scale to get a bearing where you are.  I know one man who was lost for two days.  He had made a camp waiting to be rescued.  Before the night of the second day, he scaled a tall tree to see a Forest Ranger's cabin within just one mile.  

10.  Finally, try and keep your wits about you.  You will get lonely, depressed and ready to give up hope.  If you quit, then death will find you rather quickly.  You must fight every single day to survive on your own.  Never give up hope, regardless of how long you have been lost.  If I can survive for 3 nights as an 11 year old boy, certainly an adult can do likewise.  

I hope no one has to endure being lost as I was as an 11 year old boy.   But, in the event you do, I hope you will remember some of these tips I have brought forth.  I wish to, once again, thank the owner of this blog for allowing me to give my story and common sense ideas to survive if you find yourself lost in the woods.

Theodore "Ted" Danielson          click here for part I


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