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Brandon Currin

Lost in the woods? Here are some tracking methods to find your way back to safety.

Lost in the woods? Here are some tracking methods to find your way back to safety.

Currently, we’re living in a world having GPS systems, navigation applications, digital maps, and other services available on our smartphones. Suppose you have walked away from the hustle and bustle of life to enjoy time with nature in the woods. It may get harder to rely on your phone for any reason, i.e., uncharged battery, signal problem, etc.

If you are ever lost in the woods without a phone, you must learn how to navigate back to civilization.

Efficient tracking methods to find your way back to safety in the woods.

Do you want to learn some tracking methods to safely return to the woods? Here we have brought a comprehensive guide you must consider in this regard.

So, here we go:

Keep the map or compass in your backpack

Whenever traversing the wild, the most important thing you can do is to keep a compass and map in your bag. A map and compass in your backpack can arguably provide you with the easiest way to find yourself. Then you can easily start tracking a way back to safety.

The map is important to locate your position.

A map is a powerful tool to have in outdoor adventures. Additionally, just like any other survival tool, you should also learn how to read a map accurately. Determining your location on the map and navigating from that position are the most important aspects of learning.

Compass to get north

On the other hand, a compass can show you north from where you discern your traveling direction. Once you have located your current position on the map, you can find where you need to go to head on the north. Then use the compass to track your way back to safety.

Listen to your surroundings carefully.

The travel and adventure industry has grown tremendously in the last decade. The growth of the industry is truly astounding. It may be because outdoor activities have become the balance to technology addiction of consumers.

  • Anyway, if you have lost in the woods, there is always someone around there. Moreover, remote hiking trails have also spread across national parks. So, here you can commonly see people wandering around. Nations have been working extensively to make these remote hiking trails more accessible.
  • Instead of panicking, tripping, and fumbling, it’s worth stopping for a moment. Look and listen to your surroundings carefully. You can listen to the sounds of nature, such as a brook’s babble or a stream’s sound.

Sometimes, you can also hear the sounds of people or tires coming from nearby. Most importantly, you can listen to the sounds of people. Even hearing voices from far away can allow you to scream and yell for help, odds are someone will hear you. Getting distracted by fear is easier when you are lost in the woods. You might think that the only way to escape from the woods is to move faster and work harder. In actuality, this isn't always the case.

Instead, stopping and listening to your surrounding carefully can help you better.

Use your survival whistle.

Are you moving around in the woods and hoping to head in the discernible direction? Then you can use your survival whistle. Three consecutive blows of whistles are a universal sign of help. Keep executing this strategy throughout when moving. This practice can make it possible for others to notice you.

We live in an age where woods are populated with outdoor enthusiasts more often. So, you can easily take advantage of this trick to get back to safety.

Navigate with the Sun by making a sundial

Suppose you are facing a situation where you have stuck in the woods without a compass or GPS. You can try your way back by making a sundial.

  • Take an approx. three feet long stick and prop it on a land’s flat patch. Mark its top’s shadow properly.
  • Now, wait a while and mark the shadow of your stick’s top again. The shadow of the stick certainly has moved from the first one.
  • If the second mark is on the left of the first one, then the second mark is east, and the first mark is west. And vice versa.

This is a rough calculation and can be the best bet to consider for getting out of extreme conditions.

Moon can help with directions.

Moon is a significant source of tracking your way back to safety. If you have been lost in the woods and it is night, this practice can be your saver. Turning to the moon can help you sense the directions to some extent.

As the moon itself doesn’t have any light, the reflected sunlight makes it glow. The moon’s shape can therefore help you to find north. Moon’s bright side always faces the Earth. It can offer you a line connecting east and west. At the time of the crescent moon, you can join its horns to draw a connecting line. Extend it to the horizon to get help in finding due north.

What’s the best way to avoid getting lost in the woods?

Most mountaineers, backpackers, and hikers may experience getting lost at least once in the woods. However, this doesn’t mean you can't avoid getting lost in dire situations. You are better equipped to avoid losing your way if you follow these suggestions:

  • Tell your friends and family about the place where you’re going.
  • Spend some time to research the area thoroughly where you are heading.
  • Always take a power bank and GPS unit in your backpack.
  • Make sure to carry extra batteries and a compass as navigation backups.
  • Prefer not to go off-trail if it isn't necessary.

All these practices are best for staying safe in the wood and avoiding losing your way.

Final Remarks:

Although lyricists and writers often romanticize the concept of getting lost in the woods. Contrarily, this practice can be daunting and dangerous in real life. Especially if you haven’t learned the basic skills for survival.

Fortunately, some techniques and guidance can help you navigate back to safety from the woods. So, consider this handiest guide as a source of learning. Use the tips to find your way back to a safe route efficiently.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay 

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