How to Survive Being Lost in The Woods: Tips for Survival

How to Survive Being Lost in The Woods: Tips for Survival

If you spend some time in the forest, you need to know how to survive by losing yourself in the forest. At any time, even the most skilled hiker or hunter can lose his way and suddenly get lost. In the event that an incident of this kind occurs, the individual will have to do everything possible to survive, perhaps for hours or even days, before finding his way back home or meeting search rescuers.

Here you will find tips on how to survive by losing yourself in the forest, in case such an event happens to you.

How to Survive Being Lost in The Woods: Tips for Survival

These tips are ideal for adults, but they are also something that all parents should teach their children as well.

Before entering the forest

Before entering a wooded area, you should prepare a survival kit that you can carry in case of an emergency. The kit must include, as a minimum, all of the following:

  • Fire or blows anywhere for fire start purposes.
  • A magnifying glass serves as an additional fire initiator.
  • A ball of lint dryer works as an excellent fire starter.
  • Steel wool to light a fire.
  • A cup to drink water.
  • A hunting knife and protection.
  • Compass in tune with magnetic north.
  • Whistle for asking for help.
  • Chlorine tablets for water purification.
  • Lantern to see at night.
  • An extra battery pack for the flashlight.
  • Trail mix is ​​a great source of food with a lot of protein.
  • Dehydrated food is light to transport and will provide you with the protein your body needs as fuel.
  • Canteen or several bottles of water.
  • A roll of toilet paper.
  • Mini first aid kit for the care of injuries.
  • Hat and socks: these two items are really essential. Up to 70 percent of your body heat escapes from your body through the head and feet.

If you are wise, before you leave the house and go to the forest alone, you should definitely let someone know where you are going and how long you plan to leave.

How to Survive Being Lost in The Woods: Tips for Survival

By letting someone know where you are going, the likelihood of a quicker rescue is great.

More emergency preparedness items

If you are hiking, you can take a backpack with you. Doing so will allow you to carry more survival items, in case you need them. Additional survival items that can help you in an emergency include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Mini frying pan or mini saucepan to boil water and cook.
  • 1-2 tin cans (instead of a mini pan to boil water).
  • An orange vest that you can use to make you more visible to search and rescue members.
  • Extra layer of clothes to keep warm in the coolest hours of the night.
  • The orange fabric cut into long strips for feet is something you can use to tie around nearby trees. It serves as a marker of where you have been and can alert rescuers to your whereabouts or that you have been around.
  • Small mirror to serve as a reflector to signal help.
  • Utensils to eat. A large spoon can be folded like a small shovel to dig holes in the ground that you can use to capture rainwater.
  • Garbage bags for garbage disposal. Having the bags will ensure that you can avoid attracting animals from whatever garbage you can create. Garbage bags, when cut, can be folded like an emergency rain poncho.

Lost Scenario

If you think because you have walked in the forest before it is impossible to get lost, think again. Even experienced hikers have been lost, especially if hikers take off on a road they have never traversed or enter an unknown area. Imagine a scenario in which you have lost, the signal of your cell phone does not exist and only 1% of the charge remains in your mobile device. You brought a compass, but you did not put it in the magnetic north, so now it does not work properly. It’s mid-afternoon, you do not know where you are and it will be dark in a matter of hours.

At first, you are surprised to realize that you have been lost in the forest, and you may even deny that you are, thinking that if you look a little harder, you will find your way back, and that when you do, you will have to funny story to tell. Then, the realization takes another turn and awakens a panic within you.

How to Survive Being Lost in The Woods: Tips for Survival

Try to turn back, looking for familiar points of reference, but everything starts to look the same. You soon discover that you are simply circling. Another hour has passed, and sunset is approaching. What are you going to do? The previous scenario is a real possibility. However, when it comes to discovering how to survive lost in the forest, there are many things you can do to ensure your survival.

Evaluate your situation

That feeling of panic that occurs when you realize that you are lost is the first thing you have to put under your control. You can not think clearly or evaluate your current situation if you are in a state of panic. Take a moment to clear your thoughts, breathe and relax as much as possible. Once you calm down, you can begin to take the next steps you must take to ensure your survival.

If you have a survival kit, you are ahead of the game. You have all the things you need to survive in the forest. However, if you have left your home without survival equipment, you will have to cope with what you have with you and with what you may find around you in the natural environment.

Check your pockets, your wallet, your backpack, or whatever it is you are taking with you to see what you might have in terms of resources. Look to see if you have a knife, a lighter, matches or anything else you can turn into a resource for your survival.

How to Survive Being Lost in The Woods: Tips for Survival

Once you find out if you have resources available, it’s time to make an action plan. You should always plan a long-term stay in the forest, since you never know how long it will take for someone to find you or for you to find civilization. Your goal now is to find a source of water, start a fire and build a shelter before taking new measures.

Discovering a water source.

You have to find water immediately. Search near small water pools. Dig holes in the ground to collect rainwater if necessary, or if you find large leaves, you can use them to capture the water or to get the proper water from them. If you have a plastic bag with you, use the bag to cover the inside of the hole you dig: This will help keep the rainwater you collect clean.

You can also use the plastic bag to create a solar water source for water collection. Put a hole in the ground. Put a small container to put inside the hole. If you do not have one, use another plastic bag. Use moist moss and leaves to place inside the air holes around the bag or container. Place another bag over the container or bag inside the hole and fix it with some rocks: the water will form through the condensation process.

You can not survive without water for more than three or four days. The search for water is essential for its survival. Look for a river, stream, lakes or small ponds to get drinking water, but do not drink it directly from the body of water. It is not recommended to drink any water source in the forest without boiling it first. If you have a can, you can use it to boil water.

Fire building                                      

Before establishing a shelter, you need a fire, not only to keep warm, but also to cook with and in order to purify the water. You should always boil the water before drinking it, no matter where it comes from when you get lost in the forest. There are innumerable methods to start a fire, including:

Use your emergency resources if you have them: You can start a fire with your steel wool, lint, magnifying glass, lighter or paste anywhere in your survival kit.

If you do not have starting equipment with fire: If you have glasses, you can use your glasses to start a fire with some dry leaves. Alternatively, you can use two sticks and cause friction by rubbing the sticks together. If you have a knife in your hand, you can also scratch the blade of your knife on a rock to get sparks and light a fire.

How to Survive Being Lost in The Woods: Tips for Survival

Additional fire start techniques: If you have a camera or binoculars, you can use the lens of the devices to start a natural fire with the sun. Once the tinder you are using begins to smoke, you can feed the fire by gently blowing it until it starts. In addition, you have the option of creating a fire plow where you can cut a groove on a piece of soft wood. You place the tinder at one end of the slot that cuts and rub a stick into the slot until a spark ignites the tinder.

Establish a refuge

An easy way to establish an outdoor shelter is to bend a young tree and tie it with a rope or a vine. Once the tree is secure, you can pick up branches from the pines, other young trees, sticks with leaves and create a roof. Make the young tree the base for a tilt, and put large sticks along each side so that you can build the shelter.

You will need branches and twigs of any size that you can gather. Make sure you use dry tinder to make the shelter’s insulation. If you get lost outdoors in snowy conditions, you can dig a hole in the deep snow or build a snow shelter quite quickly. Snow is a prominent natural insulator.

How to Survive Being Lost in The Woods: Tips for Survival

You need to establish a place to sit and / or lie down too. You should never put your body against the earth, especially to sleep. The earth is cold and it will lower the temperature of your body. While being on the floor for a short period of time is acceptable, lying on the floor for hours can be incredibly dangerous and runs the risk of becoming hypothermic. You can set up some bedding using moss, leaves and branches so you can keep your body off the ground cold.

If it’s very cold, you can also use a lot of dry leaves to keep you warm. When collecting leaves, be sure not to accidentally pick up leaves that are poisonous, such as poison ivy.


In the absence of a knife, you will need some kind of weapon, first to obtain food, and second, for your own protection. You can make a sharp instrument to work by taking one stone and hitting it against another. You must continue doing this until the different pieces of the rock break and leave a sharp edge. Make sure the two rocks you use are different types of rocks.

If you use similar rocks to hit each other, the rocks are less likely to fall off and leave sharp fragments. If you have a knife, you can make a spear by sharpening the end of a large stick as well. Instead of sharp weapons, you can use stones to throw predators, and sometimes you can use them to kill small animals and snakes as a source of food.

Food sources

After the discovery of its water source, the construction of fires and the establishment of a safe refuge, it is time to look for food. There are many things you can eat when you are in the forest in an emergency situation. While some food sources may not seem pleasant, they will keep you alive until they find you. Your emergency food options include fish, frogs, crabs, snakes, night crawlers, larvae and small animals such as rabbits and squirrels.

Some berries are edible, but if you are not, you are sure what kind of berries are dealing with you and you should refrain from eating them, as some berries are poisonous. When it comes to wild mushrooms, at no time should you consume them.

How to Survive Being Lost in The Woods: Tips for Survival

You can also chestnuts and water chestnuts if you can find them. Use a rock to open the chestnuts and reveal the food inside. The water chestnuts are not really nuts, but they have a meaty material that you can consume boiled or raw. If it is not snowing, you can also look for wild strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. Queen Anne’s lace flowers offer wild carrots when you pull out the roots, but only the young roots will be edible.

There is also an opportunity to look for wild onions. Just remember, never, never consume any food source that you are not sure of and, if possible, cook the food you are going to consume. Do not eat raw fish or meat.

Looking for assistance

If you locate a stream when it is lost in the forest, be sure to move down to seek help. As you move downstream, eventually you will find a larger body of water and there is a greater chance that you will find civilization. You should not seek help until you are sure that no one will come to rescue you. Rescuers may be looking for you and it will be easier to find you if you stay in one place.

How to Survive Being Lost in The Woods: Tips for Survival

If you decide to travel for help, do not move during the night hours. Instead, do all your search and travel during the day, and preferably, when the sun is not at its highest point. When you are looking for a body of water, be sure to move through the woods in one direction only.

This is your chance to put on a brightly colored outfit, spell out the words help or SOS with big sticks or trees, and do things that you notice. If you have brought a mirror, you can use it to reflect sunlight and to cause a remarkable glow.

In conclusion

If you keep calm and maintain control at all times, it is possible to survive by losing yourself in the forest. You should think clearly, assess your situation and take the necessary steps to ensure you get water, shelter and food as soon as possible. If you plan ahead and bring a survival kit with you, the ease with which you will survive your ordeal will multiply tenfold.

However, even if you only have yourself and the desert, there are effective ways to survive by losing yourself. Adults and children owe it to themselves to learn the survival method, you never know when you might need them.


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