Education /

Avoid Getting Lost


Here are a few ways to avoid becoming lost, and what to do if you do become lost.

Leave A Message With A Friend

A note, left with a responsible person, explains your destination, the route (or runs) you are taking, who is with you, and your return time. If you do not return as planned, this person can give the accurate information to the police.

Always Carry The 10 Essentials

Be ready to stay out overnight in a survival situation. It is quite likely that you may not be reported missing for many hours. Carry extra clothing, survival gear, and be mentally prepared to endure the night out.

Never Hike Alone

Hike with a group and keep together. If a person becomes separated by going ahead or falling behind they are more likely to become lost.

Be Prepared For Your Chosen Hike

Hiking requires physical preparation. Be physically fit to enjoy your activities. Stick to a turn around time, and leave enough time to get home without causing people to worry about you. Take the proper equipment and have a trip plan – even if you will be hiking for only a few hours on a local mountain.

Do Not Panic

Maintain a positive mental attitude if you become lost. Being lost is not dangerous if you are prepared.
Stay Where You Are. People who go on, after becoming lost, usually get further from the trail and further from people who are looking for them. Help will come.

Do Not Go “Downhill”

On the North Shore, going downhill often leads to dangerous natural drainages. These drainages have the common features of very thick bush, steep cliffs, and waterfalls.

Use Signaling Devices

Blowing a whistle, lighting a fire, and staying visible will help searchers find you. Help people trying to find you, even if you feel embarrassed or afraid. Remember that animals will not be attracted to your signals.

Build or Seek Shelter

Protect yourself from the elements. Be as comfortable as possible but when it is light make sure you are visible from the air and visible to searchers in helicopters or planes.

It Could Happen To YOU

Bad weather, early darkness or an unexpected injury can turn an easy hike into an extended crisis. IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU! By being prepared you will enjoy your trip in the backcountry regardless of what nature throws at you.