How To Navigate Your Way Out Of A Forest


It would be someone’s worst nightmare to get lost within the woods with no cell phone or compass in hand. Today is the world of technology, where every device we use is highly equipped with interactive sources. But when a situation becomes adverse, these gadgets might not help us. All these devices work on batteries, which will die after a certain period. The internet signals are also not available at times in the secluded parts of the forest. It is better to be safe than sorry and have a way to get yourself out of the forest without electronic devices. These are time-tested tips for the people who get lost in the woods.

Try To Follow The Pathways

Understand the place you got lost. Recollect any particular area, river, lake, terrain, farms, or any stand-alone worshipping place in a wide-open space that you came across while reaching this forest area.  Is there any water body nearby? Man can’t live without water. Hence there will be human civilization somewhere deep in the valley or deep in the jungle. Keep a marking stone, pebble, or anything sharp with you to mark any signs that you crossed so that you get familiarized with the spot.

Find A Higher Place

Sometimes finding a higher place like a hill, a prominent rocky home, or even sometimes trees give you a broader picture to analyze the area. You can look at far-away sites for human habitation. There must be a pathway with a gap of tree boundaries through the deep forest because of highways, countryside roads, railway lines, or even electricity cables.

Following this path of the woods can lead you to some town suburb or any human habitat. Then, during the night, spot some light sources like fires, vehicle lights, lights on highways, wind turbine lights, etc., and start walking towards that source of light.

Follow The Sun

One of the primary navigation rules we learned in school is east, west, north, and south. If you can follow the sun’s direction at the present moment, try to gauge the direction of its sunrise and sunset and find out which path is north without a compass. This is not perfect because it will be different depending on which hemisphere you are in and if you are closer to the equator.  

In the northern hemisphere, the sun’s zenithal point every day is directly south. During the summers, the sun gets higher in the sky, but every day the highest point of the sun’s curve goes to the south. The easiest way is to pick up a straight wooden stick and make it stand vertically on the ground. Mark the shadow from the top of the stick.

Wait fifteen minutes and make another mark where the shadow is from the tip of the stick. The first mark you made should be west of the second mark. Next, reorient your body so that the first mark you made is on your left, signifying west. The second mark should be to the right of you, signifying east. Now you are facing north. 

Essential Things To Keep In Your Backpack:

Apart from food, water, and general medicine, carrying a few essential things in your backpack is crucial. You have to keep in mind that the bag should not weigh heavy. Things you should take are a compass, a whistle, a lighter, a knife, and something you can reflect sunlight with, such as a mirror. If you are carrying your smartphone, share your location with someone. This way, you can be rescued by rescue teams. 

To Sum Up

You don’t have to be an expert or have prior knowledge of survival instinct; the best would be that you don’t get panicked and practice a little. These traditional ways of navigation tips can help you reach back home. Remember, when you go next time for tracking, hiking, kayaking, or any adventurous trip, get equipped with some navigation tools.