How To Keep From Getting Lost While Backpacking

A couple of great ways to “get away from it all” for a day or two (or three or four!) and decompress are hiking and backpacking; but if you get lost while hiking or backpacking, your “fun, relaxing” experience can turn into something stressful and not fun at all!

Lots of people make the mistake when hiking of assuming they “know exactly where they are going” – and they will even leave the path for short, exploratory adventures, figuring that when they are ready to return to the path they will simply “backtrack,” and these people often learn (too late!) that backtracking in a wilderness where everything looks the same rarely works!

The first step in ensuring you do not get lost while you are backpacking is to always know what direction you are headed; with a good compass, you will be able to keep one eye on the path while keeping the other eye on the direction you are going.

Pausing every once in a while to establish exactly where you are is also good; while you might plan to take a break every hour or so while backpacking, you should pause more often than this to make sure you are aware of your surroundings, establishing in your mind where you are and where you are headed.

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In addition to looking around to establish landmarks when take these short breaks to get your bearings, you should also turn around and look back up the path; after all, when you return from your trip, you will be heading the opposite direction on the path, and it will be important for you to get an idea of what you will be looking at.

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When people go into the wilderness, they do not want to get lost, yet many people fail to take the simple steps necessary to prevent this from happening. When you follow these tips, you will not only be able to have a fun hiking or backpacking trip, but will also be able to make sure to find your way back to your car in the end!

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