Tis that time of year when I like to go out to our wild woodlands. Anyone truly daring does not stick to the beaten path when adventuring. Of course there are risks if you go into unbroken ground (or at least ‘less traveled ground’), the least of which is finding yourself somewhere that you didn’t expect to end up. I figured it was a good time to post an entry on some recommendations for what to do if you get lost when on such a journey.
So what should you do if you suddenly look around and find yourself to be off your desired path? Of course, that might depend on where you were going and whether or not you were simply going to go back the way you came. However, the first and most important thing is to gather yourself together.
When you get disoriented or otherwise find yourself somewhere you didn’t realize you were headed and didn’t want to be, the best thing to do is to take some time out to gather yourself. Being lost can be emotionally overwhelming. To get back on the right course, you will need to have your wits about you. You might choose to take inventory of your situation during this time – it would be wise to take as much time as necessary but of course you might wish to guage this against whether or not you are also chasing daylight and how far you may have as of yet to go.
Once things have settled down sufficiently enough and you are prepared to think straighter, the best bet is to backtrack – recover your tracks carefully to try to find where you have been. It might be wise to also mark the trail now as to where you ended up to avoid going down that wrong course again. (Feel free to take your time – if you properly prepared yourself for your journey or at least have recovered your senses enough – the worst case scenario is that you might have to wait out the night. Other creatures do it all the time. In such a case, you can face the following steps with a new day and an even clearer head.)
If you find familiar landmarks you passed on the way, be sure to mark and remember them – once you find familiar enough ground to know where you were headed in the first place, perhaps you can figure out where you went wrong the last time and continue your journey (or head back as the case may be). It is still wise to never wander far from familiar territory without properly marking your way even if you are the adventurous and daring type – once disoriented, it is even easier to get further so with little effort.