With the onset of warm days, it's time to go hiking in the forest. There are many reasons for sorties into nature, some go on vacation, others go for mushrooms and berries. But, regardless of the reason, everyone can get lost in more often. Useful information on how not to get lost in the forest will help to avoid trouble and even save a life. This is especially true for children who, because of their carelessness, may be the first to become forest captives.
What things are necessary for going to the forest so as not to get lost
When going camping, make a list of the necessary things in advance. They will help you return safe and sound or help if you are lost anyway.
- Compass. The main device in all nature trips. The ability to use it correctly guarantees safety in the forest. There is only one rule - the magnetic needle always looks north, no matter where or where you are going from. Thus, it will be easier to navigate. For example, going into a forest in the east, you need to go back in the opposite direction, that is, to the west.
- Phone. Thanks to advanced technologies, you can stay connected wherever there is coverage. Before you go outdoors, take care that your mobile phone is charged, but it is better to take a spare battery. There is one secret if the battery is dead: remove it from the phone and rub it on your pants (jacket, t-shirt, shirt, etc.). The main thing is that the battery warms up. Thus, its viability is prolonged for several minutes, which is quite enough for dialing into the rescue service.
- Ax and knife. Even if it’s small, these items will greatly facilitate the process of extracting firewood for a fire.
- Fresh water. No matter how long the trip is planned, there should always be a supply of water.
- Food stocks. This may be the most minimal set: canned food, dried noodles, crackers, etc.
- Matches, lighter, flint. For the production of fire, these are irreplaceable items. A lighted bonfire will help prepare food, dry clothes and keep warm. You can prevent a matchbox from getting wet by wrapping it in cling film or in a plastic bag. Coat each match with clear nail polish or wax. In completely Spartan conditions, you can make a fire with the help of lenses for glasses. Hold the lens against the sun above dry leaves and they will light up.
- Clothing with long sleeves. It's no secret that thickets of forests are a favorite place for mosquitoes, ticks, snakes and other "reptiles". The t-shirt will protect you not only from insects, but also from treacherous sunshine, wind and sand.
- Rope and paper clip (pin). Using these items, you can construct a fishing rod and provide yourself with lunch or dinner. Bend the hook-shaped pin tip, put on a dug worm or other bait, and wait for the bite. If you only have a paper clip on hand, sharpen one end of it on a stone and use it as a hook. Also, the rope is useful for tying branches for a hut or constructing a trap.
- Salt pepper. These seasonings will add flavor to caught fish or game. With the help of pepper, you can disinfect wounds.
- Bowler hat. Of course, going for mushrooms, it is unlikely that someone will take a pot with them. But it is better to play it safe and put in a backpack, albeit a small, but such a necessary vessel. Instead of a pot, a tetra-packet from juice will also come down. In it you can cook a yushka or tea from birch chaga (a mushroom growing on a tree trunk closer to the crown) with lingonberry leaves.
- Raincoat or raincoat tent. In case of bad weather you can take cover and reduce the risk of getting wet and getting sick.
- Protective products from the sun and insects. Many living organisms live in the forests, many of which will probably want you to “eat”. Repellents will protect against their attacks.
- Whistle. It will be more suitable for children. So they can give a signal about their location if they get lost.
- Minimum supply of medicines. This includes painkillers, antiseptics, plasters, bandages, including elastic.
- Flashlight with spare batteries in case you have to stay in the forest for the night.
In addition, it will be useful to draw up a campaign plan and mark it on the map. It will be easier to navigate, and relatives to look for you in case of trouble.
What to do if you get lost in the forest, a memo for children and adults
The first thing to do when you get lost in the forest is to calm down and concentrate. This will help to focus on the sounds, remember the details that met on the way when you just went into the forest. Maybe there are landmarks around you that can help you find a way out. Use your mobile phone right away, get in touch with relatives and friends at the rescue service. In general, the more people will know that you are in trouble, the better. When making calls, try to explain as clearly and quickly as possible where to look for you without spending precious battery power. After that, you have two options: stay in place and wait for help, or look for a way out yourself. In the second option, follow certain instructions:
- try to walk in small steps so as not to walk in circles. This is due to the fact that a person’s right leg is slightly longer and retreats to the side. Stepping in your usual way, there is a risk in time to return to the point from which you started;
- look for a pond. Very often, people build homes near ponds. Help in the search for moss and lichen. They grow on the wet side. Go downstream and, with luck, it will lead you to the people;
- do not go deep into the thicket. If you see that the forest is thickening, come back, otherwise it will be more difficult to find you;
- twilight soon, but you still have not been found. Have to spend the night in the forest. To do this, find a calm place, collect brushwood and make a fire. If possible, you can build a shelter from the branches, the main thing is to do this before dark.
The lost baby must be sure that they will certainly find him. Teach him to be in place and wait for help, be sure to respond if his name is. You can tap with a stick on a tree trunk, such a sound spreads further than a human voice, especially a child’s. Explain to your child in advance that you should not drink from ponds and eat unknown berries and mushrooms.
How not to get lost in the forest, orienteering rules
There are certain guidelines that help not to get lost in the forest. You can determine the side of the world in various ways, and if you don’t have a compass or a navigator at your fingertips, signs of nature will help you do this. Try to remember which side the sun was from when you entered the forest, because there would be little use of the side of the world without this information. Find out where the north or south will help the following signs:
- anthills are located on the south side of trees and stumps;
- in the south, the crowns of the trees are lush, the bark is softer, and on the north, on the contrary, it is coarser;
- coniferous resin accumulates more on the south side;
- in the spring in the north the grass is thicker, and in summer, on the contrary, in the south;
- wild berries are red in the south, slightly greenish in the north;
- the shadows of the trees look north.
Find out where the north stick will help. Stick it in the ground and see where it casts a shadow, there is north. When you just went into the forest, try to remember landmarks and, if possible, put marks on them with a marker. Remember that early in the morning, at 6-7, the sun is in the east. Closer to 10 hours, it will mix to the southeast, and at noon, 12-13 hours to the south. In the evening the star will settle down in the west.
What you can not do, lost in the forest
Nature has its own laws and man must know and respect them. Violation of the rules of conduct in the forest can cost health, and sometimes life. Beware of animal trails. It’s easy to distinguish them from the human, the branches above the path will close at the level of your chest. Although such a path can lead to a source of drinking water, a meeting there with a bear or a wild boar will not please you.
Do not continue driving if you see that night is coming soon. Better think about arranging a place to sleep and relax, so that in the morning with renewed vigor to continue the path.
Do not drink boiled water. Divide the food reserves so that you have enough of them until the moment you are found or you yourself get out of the forest. Try not to eat unfamiliar plants. You can distinguish edible from poisonous in the footsteps of bird droppings around or pecked berries. To poisonous belong;
- belladonna, in appearance resembling a large black cherry;
- hemlock speckled, it is small ovoid or round, oblate from the sides of the fruit;
- the wolfberry looks like bright red pea-sized balls.
Poisonous mushrooms are a well-known fly agaric with a red or white hat, pale toadstool, looks like a russula vomiting, etc. All the names and appearance of inedible plants can only be known by an experienced botanist or professional tourist. An ordinary person is better to put in a backpack a book indicating dangerous plants and animals. The latter can also be harmful to health, for example, snakes, ticks, spiders, etc.
Having learned simple rules of behavior for those lost in the forest, you will not find yourself in a difficult situation, and if this happens, you will not be confused and you will be able to get out of it safe and sound.