Speaking of getting lost

In his book Deep Survival Laurence Gonzales writes about how to survive life-threatening situations in the wild. One of these life-threatening situations is getting lost.

If you find yourself in this scenario, here is what you should do:

  1. When you realize you are good and lost, stop walking. Do not hurry to the ridge over there that looks familiar. You are not a forest-dweller and, let’s be real, your navigational skills are poor. Don’t get yourself more lost than you already are.
  2. Find shelter or make one. Familiarize yourself with the place where you are. The trees. The rocks. Their particularities. It is your new home. Perhaps make a nice seat for yourself. Have a snack (but save some for later!).
  3. Now, if you wish, you make walk calmly to the ridge that looks familiar. When it shows no signs of being the way out, come back home.
  4. Take a nap. Drink some water (but not all of it!). Then maybe explore another area around your new home.

These steps help conserve energy. Also, by staying in one place search-and-rescue will find you quickly (I hope you told someone you were going out for a hike!). But there’s something deeper here, about being able to adapt to your surroundings, about finding home wherever you are because, well, then you’re not lost anymore.

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