Walking into the great outdoors is one of the thrills of hunting, with the remote mountains, fresh air, endless expanses of pine trees, and no civilization for miles around. A perfect paradise.
That’s true, until you become lost. It can be a scary situation, but with a sound mind and the right strategy, you will be heading out of the woods and home before you know it.
Take a Break, Breathe, and Relax
The first thing you should do is absolutely nothing. When you finally say to yourself “oh crap, I’m lost,” don’t go running in a random direction or let you mind wander with all kinds of scary possibilities. Instead, sit down, relax, and calm down. Look at the scenery and take a deep breath. After you rest a bit, you may just notice a landmark or remember exactly how to get back to camp.
When in Doubt, Stay Put
There are hundreds of stories of hunters and outdoor enthusiasts who become lost, then walk off in search of help. Often the previous location of the hunter is found. If they had stayed put, they would have been rescued. Only leave when you are absolutely, 100% sure on how to get back to safety.
Protect Yourself From Immediate Danger
Remember that the chances of being found are extremely high; so assess your immediate safety first. Do you have enough water? Do you have food? Will you have shelter and warmth for the night? Focus on staying alive and energized, because it’s only a matter of time until you are found.
If you are in a group that is lost, always stay together. There is strength in numbers, and splitting up only doubles the job of search-and-rescue parties.
Display Your Brightest Colors
If you wore bright orange, do your best to display it as much as possible. If your sweatshirt or jacket has a blaze orange interior lining, like NOMAD apparel, you can turn it inside out to become more visible for rescue squads or other hunters walking around in the woods.
The Universal Call for Help
Three is the universally recognized call for help, so try to make your shouts, whistle blows, or shots in a series of threes. This is especially important if firing a gun. One shot will be easily discarded as another hunter shooting at game, but three equally spaced shots may get someone’s attention, especially if they know a hunter is lost in the woods. Gunshots are not recommended if you need the ammunition for protection or survival.
Leave Clues to Your Location
There is only one of you and thousands of acres to search, but you can leave an infinite amount of clues for searchers. Mark trees with your knife. Arrange rocks in an obvious pattern. Put branches and logs in an arrow pointing towards your location. Be creative and take every possible opportunity to leave clues.
Create a Fire When Possible
Fires serve two purposes when you’re lost. First, they give you warmth that could potentially save your life. Next, they provide a signal for searchers. Whenever possible, have a fire going, especially if you are making camp.
Excellent Gear for Your Hunting Adventures
All NOMAD jackets come with a blaze orange interior lining, making them one of the most important hunting garments you can wear. Shop all the gear at NOMAD Outdoor to find advanced hunting shirts, pants, and more.