Always before you go somewhere tell someone where you're going and when you should be arriving and when they can expect you to come back. That way just in case you get lost search and rescue (SAR) can have a general idea where to look to find you.
Although, if you get lost or stranded, below are some suggestions that might help you:
Things to try:
- Rule #1: If you're stranded due to a disabled vehicle, stay with your vehicle. Its easier to find a stationery person, then one that is wandering aimlessly.
- Rule #2: DON'T PANIC and S.T.O.P.
- Stop moving, sit down and relax.
- Think where you may have messed up.
- Observe your surroundings and try back tracking a little bit to see if you can recognize the terrain. If you don't, sit down, take a deep breath.
- Plan what to do next?
- Listen for signs of civilization, such as listening for sounds of vehicles, trains, factory noise, etc.
- Look around and proceed to the nearest and highest ground and look for buildings, roads, railroad tracks, fences, power lines, telephone lines, etc.
- If you don't see or hear any signs of civilization, look for flowing water like a stream, creek or river, then follow it down stream. It will not only provide you a source of drinking water, but it can also lead you back to civilization or to some trails or roads.
- If the weather starts to change, the temperature drops or darkness is approaching. Stop and stay where you are for the night and begin building a shelter and getting a fire going before it's too late than to risk getting wet, cold and not being able to see where you're going.