HUNTINGsmart! USA Knowledge Base
Module 14 - SURVIVAL
Getting lost is easier than you think. Hunters even get turned around on their own properties—and fair enough—there’s a lot going on out there! You’re focused on finding game, you’re thinking about your safe zone of fire, you’re trying to stay quiet ... the list goes on and on. The point is, you could be hunting with a group or be out by yourself when you look up and realize that you have no idea where you are. If this happens to you, just remember to ‘S.T.O.P.’:
Stop as soon as you realize that:
- You’ve become separated from your group.
- You’ve become lost.
- You’re in any kind of trouble.
Think things over carefully. How did you get to where you are? What landmarks did you notice passing? What time is it and how many hours do you have before full dark? Try to determine your location using your map and compass. Sit down to think it out and to calm your nerves.
Observe your location and do an inventory of your gear and supplies. Do you have something to make noise with? Do you have food and water? Move to a location where you can see and be seen better but make sure you mark the spot where you first realized you were lost. From the marked spot, cautiously travel outwards, marking trees by breaking branches or by leaving tape so you can begin finding your way back. If you discover a trail or road, stay on it.
Plan ahead and prepare a shelter. If night is creeping up and you’re still lost, or too far away to make it back to camp before dark, accept that you’ll be spending the night under the stars. Make a shelter that will keep you warm and dry and don’t go wandering in the dark.
Wise Words: Eat Grasshoppers
A fire-roasted grasshopper will provide a small serving of protein and iron. Roasting it will kill any possible parasites. I mean, it’s no cheeseburger, but these little jumpers will keep you from starving in a pinch.