Survival Guide: What to Do If You Get Lost on a Camping Trip
Thousands of people get lost in the wild each year. More than 40% wander off the trail, while 17% fail to find their way back home because of bad weather. Injuries, equipment failure, and extreme conditions can further increase the risk of getting lost on a camping trip.
While it’s impossible to eliminate these risk factors, there are ways to improve your chances of getting found.
First of all, take the time to read a survival guide. Second, get a paper map, snacks, flashlights, and other camping essentials.
Knowing where you’re going is just as important. Create an itinerary before leaving home—and stick to it. Most importantly, never hike alone.
Not sure where to start? Check out this camping survival guide before planning your next trip!
Get a Survival Kit
A camping survival kit includes essential items that could save your life in the wild. Depending on the brand, your kit may contain the following:
- First-aid supplies
- Water jugs
- Nonperishable foods
While it’s true that you can make a survival kit on your own, it’s easy to forget small things, such as batteries or lighters.
Camping survival kits are widely available and convenient—some brands cost less than $50. Think of it as an investment in your safety.
Don’t Rely on GPS
Next, get a paper map and compass. GPS devices are great, but they may stop working due to battery failure or mechanical shock.
Stay on the safe side and look for a quality topographic map. Take the time to learn how to use it before going on a camping trip.
Make Sure You Have Access to Clean Water
A person can survive without food for one to three months, depending on his age, health, body weight, and other factors. But he cannot survive without water for longer than a few days.
Dehydration will be your worst enemy if you ever get lost while camping. You’ll not only feel thirsty but also experience brain fog, mood changes, fatigue, and lethargy.
If you run out of water while on a trip, use chlorine dioxide tablets and lightweight filters to purify the water found in pits and ponds. Another option is to get a bottle filter or liquid chlorine dioxide.
Snack on High-Calorie Foods
Fill your bags with coconut oil, almond butter, nuts, and trail mixes. Chocolate bars, protein bars, and jerky sticks are a good choice, too. The whole point is to make sure you have access to high-calorie foods in case you get lost.
Almond butter, for instance, provides 98 calories, 3.4 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbs, and 9 grams of fat per tablespoon. If you eat just four or five tablespoons, you’ll get the energy needed to keep walking for a few more hours.
Don’t Leave Home before Reading a Survival Guide
Anyone can get lost while camping. The risk is even higher for those who go camping alone or in remote locations. Your best bet is to read a survival guide and get properly equipped before leaving home.
Have a backup plan so you know what to do if something goes wrong. Stay calm, study your maps, and fuel your body. Most importantly, stay warm and hydrated until you get help.
Looking for more tips on how to enjoy the great outdoors? You’re in the right place. Browse the rest of our Travel section for other insights!
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