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Take command of your adventure
 
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By:    On: 2013-08-26

Last week we talked about getting to camp, not lost by planning and using technology. This week we will continue this discussion.

Be prepared:

As a good Boy Scout would say, be prepared. What can go wrong will go wrong, be prepared for any circumstances you can think of. What if the car breaks down? Do you have extra food and water, for everyone, for several days it may take to get help in rural locations? Remember your cell phone may not work, there may be no other cars for long periods of time, etc.

  • Map / Compass / GPS
  • Extra Food
  • Shelter
  • Beddings / Sleeping Bags
  • Emergency Kit / First Aid Kit
  • Camp Kitchen
  • Warm clothing, to be safe a storm can come out of no where
  • Full plan of the whole activity

Many of these items, and much more can be found at CampingSurvival.com

Orientation:

You need to ensure everyone in your party knows where camp is, as well as how to get in contact with each other such as a cell number. As an example why, I am going to tell you a true story from when I was pretty young.

On a family campout my sister, who is older then me, we went to the campground potty. Of course being a typical boy I was done long before she was. I got tired of waiting for her and thought she left with out me. Being a typical boy I thought I could find my way back to the campsite on my own but got lost and was crying. Another camper saw the mess I was in and had me sit at their picnic table. Not to long after my parents found me and thank the nice campers. Of course I got in trouble for leaving without my sister.

Now what if they didn't find me, or there wasn't nice honest fellow campers? Shouldn't I have known the campsite number? Well I was suppose to? My sister and I were always asked when leaving the site what it was. Who knows what went wrong, but things happen. The more you prepare for them the smoother and safer things will go. However, it is also possible to go over kill.

The moral of the story is make sure everyone knows where the campsite is, what the rules are, what to do if they get separated from the group, etc. In bad situations its panic that kills, those who keep their heads tend to fair a lot better.

A few cool things to remember:

  • When the sun is out, insert a stick in the ground and mark the location at the end of the shadow. The shadow moves west to east. This is also a good way to tell what time it is, think sun dial.
  • Try to climb a tree or get to a high point to see where you are.
  • At night, you can use the stars as a point of direction like the North Star known as Polaris, which is the brightest star in the Little Dipper.

If you do get lost while hiking, stay put. Once a search and rescue (SAR) team is on scene they use a grid pattern to complete the search. Think of it this way put graph paper over a map. The SAR team will search square by square to find you. This way the ensure they cover the entire area. They will start from either your last known location or where they think you likely are.

Ok, these two posts were meant to be more about finding your campsite while driving and ended up taking a few twists and turns. If you do get lost trying to find camp and your other directions, maps and tools are not helping you will need to call for help. Try to find a mile marker on side of the road. These are the small signs, pretty low to the ground. They tell you how many miles you are from some point, could be state line if the road crosses it, or from the end of the road, etc. We don't really care what the mileage is to, where it helps us is we can call say we are on highway 12 at mile marker 102 heading east. This will tell them exactly where we are and from there they could either tell us where to go or send help to us.

I hope the points in this post gave you a few things to think about and will help you out if you ever do get lost. Please join us on facebook and tell us what you would do.

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