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Planning and preparation should keep you from having an outdoor misadventure. If something does go wrong, switch into survival mode.

Hunter with emergency blanket

Most everyone who treks into the wilderness gets turned around occasionally. How you respond in the early stages often determines whether your disorientation becomes a temporary inconvenience or a traumatic ordeal. If you keep a cool head, you’ll usually get your bearings fairly quickly.

Think through recent events to see if you can retrace your path. If you decide you can’t return to your camp or car, commit yourself to spending the night where you are. If you remain in one spot, it’s very likely that you will be found in a few days.

You now have three priorities: shelter, fire, and signal. Once you have shelter, fire, and your signal prepared, you can focus on water and food.