Lost in the woods
by Stephen Mann
(Banja Luka Bosnia)
Get as high in a tree or on a rock as you feel safe. Stop, Look, Listen, Looking is easy and so is Listening. Look for areas that may have a house or a silo that is easy to see. Listen for the sounds of traffic or sounds of water like a river or stream. Take your time, mark points along your way out and follow them.
Building a fire sounds simple but in rainy or snowy conditions, it's a problem, I always carry some steel wool and a 9-volt battery. Build your tepee of dry tinder over the steel wool and then touch the 9 volt to the steel wool. It will start small so take your time, you may have to put on smaller tinder, but it will work 99% of the time.
Remember just like any small fire keep it sheltered from the wind.
Keeping it going all night is a job for anyone so don't go alone take a friend, and he/she can help with the fire.
Bring a US Army canteen cup or a small covered pot and you will be able to keep warm or make drinkable water, heat up a food ration or just get a good cup of hot tea so you can plan your next move.
Lost is no fun at all, so stay in one place, if its safe, and don't move from place to place without a plan. If you want to be found, blow your safety whistle, listen for replies for five minutes and then blow again. You can do this as you build your shelter, get water, boil the water and remember to whistle while you work.
Remember; Stay safe, Stay put and Stay busy
Before you head for the backcountry.