I’m Lost – It’s Dark and I Don’t Know How To Find What Direction I Need To Follow To Get Home Safely

Getting lost in the wilderness while out hiking in the woods, camping and especially in a survival situation is a wake-up call and usually generates panic and intense fear.

These are natural human reactions and you need to learn to calm yourself, sit down, take deep breaths till the panic and fear pass and remember at night unless its overcast and you cannot see the sky to use the stars to guide you other methods of finding where you need to go are available but first let’s use the night sky.

bright horizonLocate the North Star in the night sky – it’s the last star in the tail of the Little Dipper, If you have trouble finding it locate the Big Dipper using the top and bottom stars on the front side of the dipper draw an imaginary line connecting each and then follow it to the end of the Little Dipper’s end star that one is usually the brightest and the end star that is the North Star.

Now that you’ve located the North Star stand facing it standing with your legs spread apart shoulder width and place a broken branch about a foot in front of you about even to the center of your spread leg position. Then using another stick draw a line directly back and under you as straight as you can and as far as you can reach without moving. Now draw a line about one foot away from the left side of your left foot continuing to pull that line directly across to about the same outside distance to your right foot. Now mark the front position with an “N” – indicating true north and then on the left with a “W” indicating west and an “E” on the right indicating east and of course the last one with an “S” indicating south.

You should have a general idea what direction you walked into the forest and to find a way out walk slowly in the opposite direction making sure you have gained your ‘night vision’ which allows you to somewhat clearly detect objects in dim light or partial darkness. If you are in pitch black conditions wait until morning’s light to proceed using the directions given.

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