Fear is a normal reaction to being lost; everyone feels afraid when they are lost. Fear affects the way you behave and, if not overcome, can become your greatest obstacle to surviving. By admitting that you are lost, you will know to follow the steps outlined below. If you follow the steps below, you are less likely to make mistakes that could worsen your situation.
- Wait for help. Wandering through the woods trying to find your way back to camp will most likely result in being farther off course. If you have told your hunting partners where you will be going, they will be better able to find you if you stay where you are.
- Before it gets dark, make preparations for an overnight camp. Start a campfire and build a shelter. Take inventory of your supplies and plan on how you will make the best use of each item. Plan on making your supplies last for three days.
- Remember that the international signal for help is three of anything. Three loud blasts on a whistle will alert those within hearing distance of your need for help. The proper response when hearing this signal is two return whistle blasts.
- Anyone going into the field should always carry a whistle for such emergencies. If for any reason you do not have a whistle, you may fire three shots from your firearm. (Most effective after legal shooting hours.) Use extreme care to be sure your shots are in a safe direction.
- At night, three fires located in a triangle will give notice of your emergency. In daylight, a small mirror may be used to reflect the sun’s rays and attract attention. You may also spell out “SOS” in snow or sand.
When you are hunting alone, or if all of your hunting party becomes lost, remember that you left a hunting plan with someone. When you don’t return or call on time, they will start looking for you. This is why it is very important to closely follow your hunting plan. That way your rescuers will know where to search for you.