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Friday, February 08, 2008
Don’t Lose Your Life When You’re Lost

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By Heather Andrews

Are you the outdoor adventure type who loves to go on a hike through the mountains or take the boat out on the ocean? If so, the fear of being lost in the woods or at sea may have crossed your mind.

There are hundreds of people who have been trapped in similar, if not exact, situations. In fact, there are around 50,000 search and rescue missions a year in the United States that are conducted to find lost adventurers in all different environments. The average search takes about 10 hours before the lost and stranded are found. Some of these adventurers are lucky and manage to survive the most deadly conditions in the most extreme of environments.

There are several books of information that can teach you to survive in the wilderness, but not all of those books can be helpful in every situation. The main focus any survivor will tell you is that you must not lose hope for survival. You will always have time, whether minutes or days, to assess and react in any situation, as long as you are aware of how to handle that situation.

You can survive for almost 2.5 days in 120 degree heat if you find shelter in the shade. While in colder climates, your body warmth is the number one critical condition of surviving and fighting off hypothermia. If you become lost and you have no available means for food your body will enter survival mode and starvation will not begin for a few weeks.

However, water is a very critical thing to have available. Your body will dehydrate quickly and you will only have a few days to survive.

The main tips that may help keep you alive in situations where you are lost or you are stranded, and you may not receive the help you need as quick as possible, are:

  • Preparedness – Always be prepared for the worst. Whether a short hiking trip, a long car ride, a skiing expedition or even deep sea fishing, a person should always have the essentials needed in an emergency kit. Basic medical supplies, food, water and a blanket could be the difference on whether you live or die.

  • Awareness – Know what to do in cases where you may become lost or hurt in any kind of scenario. Knowledge is the best tool for anybody who has had to survive the wilderness and extreme conditions where surviving seemed impossible.

  • Strength – The courage to survive. Somebody with the will to survive probably will have more strength to get through a difficult situation, then somebody who gives up. Even with all of the right tools and knowledge survival will be hopeless without the will to believe that you can make it through the situation.

Think ahead and be smart when going into any dangerous situation where you are at risk of being lost or stranded. Don’t go alone unless you have to and always make sure there is someone, who is not accompanying you, who knows what time you are leaving, where you plan to go and what time you are expected to return. Take the steps to ensure you always come home safe.

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