If you are lost

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If you are lost:

  • Stop.  Sit down and think.
  • Think carefully about how the situation arose: Too far uphill? Too far downhill?  Location of the campsite or the track – on a ridge or in a valley? Rough direction using the sun?
  • Can you retrace your steps? If so, mark your progress by leaving toilet paper squares, broken branches, scratches on the track surface, etc
  • Gaining some height may assist in orientation and communications

If above does not help STAY WHERE YOU ARE.

  • Call 000 and ask for Police if there is mobile or satellite phone reception.
  • Activate emergency communication device if you have one e.g. PLB, SPOT or InReach
  • Stay together. If you are in a group stay together, never separate.
  • Stay warm and dry. It can take a considerable time for rescuers to reach you.
  • Ration your food and water.  Source local water if possible and it is safe to do so.  Minimise movement to conserve energy.
  • Shelter. Find and/or prepare shelter (e.g. shade, out of the wind and rain, off the snow) if hot or cold , tired or it gets dark .
  • Make your position visible to searchers on land and in the air; e.g. lighting a fire or leaving bright clothing or equipment in an open area that can be seen.
  • Light a fire if you have the means and it is safe to do so.  Green leaves will create smoke.
  • Listen carefully for voices, shouts, whistles, engine noises, etc and respond.
  • Distress signals. Give audible or visible signals – three consecutive signals at regular intervals (e.g. three shouts, whistles, flashes of a torch, waving bright items) if people or rescuers are nearby or aircraft are in the vicinity.  

NOTE:  help may take some time to arrive

See also