How Not to Get Lost in the Woods

If you enjoy outdoor activities and going on different adventures, you must have some basic survival skills, as building a shelter and starting a fire. However, one overlooked skill that important to master is how not to go missing in a forest, and understanding how to navigate yourself to safety.

Surely, all survival skills are useful in case you find yourself lost in the backwoods, but first and foremost, you must try not to avoid that situation in the first place. You’re probably wondering what you can do to make sure you don’t go missing in the backwoods on your next excursion. Luckily, there are many precautions and steps you can take to help keep yourself on track.


Here are a few signs to pay attention to when you’re in a forest or the woods to prevent getting lost.

  • Don’t Rely on GPS.

It’s really simple. The government can shut down GPS unexpectedly and whenever. Also, you might lose the device, or damage it. You may run out of battery or signal, too. Therefore, the best thing to do is not to rely solely on GPS, but use actual maps when going into the woods. If it gets dark, or if there’s an area with not enough lighting, you’ll want to make sure that you have a flashlight with you. It’s probably the better option vs. having a GPS.

  • Prevent going in circles

We usually tend to walk in circles. For this reason, it’s important to stick to one direction at all times. The best way to do this is to follow the old rule of leaving “breadcrumbs”. Find a distinctive landmark such as a boulder, terrain, or tree in the direction you’re heading. Once you reach it, mark it with something. Then find another tree and do the same thing. Make sure the marks are distinct enough for you to spot them easily as you’re heading back.

  • Don’t take any small paths

Most of the time, people are tempted to take small paths left or right whenever they come across them. Usually, it’s some animal that created that “unbeaten path”, and it will most likely not lead you anywhere you’d want to be. Sometimes, paths like that can lead you to danger or even further into the woods, so make sure you stick to the main road or beaten path.

These three things are the most essential to pay attention to when going into the wild. However, make sure to take a few more precautions. For example, let other people know where and when you’re going. Also, bring some tools and essentials with you such as matches, drinking water, a knife, tomahawk, etc. Make sure you’re as safe as possible when going into the backwoods, and follow the three rules above to ensure you don’t go missing in the woods.