Sure we say let’s get lost, but the truth is that getting lost tops the list for solo hikers fears.
That’s why we want to give you some tips in the event you do actually find yourself lost on a hike.
Follow the STOP 🛑 recommendation by the US Forest Service 🌲.
✋🏼 Stop: As soon as you realize you are lost, quit moving around. Stay calm and don’t panic. .
🤔 Think: Retrace your steps in your mind. What landmarks did you see? Did you take any photos 📷 that might help you find your way back? Do not move until you have calmed down & had time to think about your situation with a clear mind. .
👀 Observe: If you are on a trail, stay on the trail, since that path has brought you to this point. Use a compass (either one you brought or on your phone) to gather your bearings. Last resort, follow a stream or drainage downhill. ⚠️this CAN be dangerous, so rangers advise to not take this decision lightly, but typically a stream downhill will lead to a road or trail. .
🗺 Plan: Based on the previous steps, come up with a plan. Do not move until you feel confident in your plan. Stay where you are until you have a solid plan. If you are close to dusk or the sun has set, stay put. You are better off waiting until morning. Sunrise 🌅 is a better time to make clearer decisions. .
Carrying tracking devices such as @garminoutdoor
applications can be helpful IF you have battery life and in some instances service. Download @alltrails
maps before you head out so you can set “waypoints” to help you navigate. .
Always tell at least 3 people where you are going and when you expect to be back. Also, leave a picture of yourself somewhere visible at your camp site or car with a dirty sock in a zip lock. We know it sounds crazy, but it can help Search and Rescue canine rescuers pick up your scent and SAR’s team members know who to look for in the search. .
Adventure can take unexpected turns, I mean UFO 🛸 experiences could happen. So just make sure you are prepared!