You’ve heard the horror stories. One minute you’re enjoying a summer hike, and the next, you find yourself lost in the woods with no idea where to go or how to get back home. It can happen to anyone, but if you take steps before your hike to prepare for an emergency like this, then there are plenty of ways that you can survive until help arrives! Here are some tips for making it through a night in the woods.
Locate The Nearest Source Of Water
After you’ve calmed down, the first thing to do is find the nearest source of water. If there’s a river, stream, or lake nearby, this will be an easy task. However, if you’re in the desert region, your most reliable option is to find plants with moist root systems and dig at their base until you reach damp soil. Also, make sure that any water is safe to drink before you drink it. If it’s dirty, filter the water through some plant matter or use a bandana to strain out any debris.
Build A Shelter
It can be scary being in the woods at night. Even if you have a compass or GPS device, it will be difficult to navigate yourself out of an unfamiliar area at night so building a shelter is essential. Gather rubbish materials like dried leaves or fallen branches and make a small shelter using these items as insulation between you and the cold ground. Keep an eye out for dry grasses and other vegetation that can be bedding.
Make A Fire
It might seem obvious, but if you are lost in the woods at night, this will be your best heat source. It can also help keep wild animals away from you so that they don’t feel threatened by your presence. Gather dry leaves and twigs on the forest floor before using a lighter or matches to get your fire started. Once it is burning well, place some green vegetation over the flames, creating smoke that can serve as a signal for help.
Look For Animal Tracks And Signs
There is a chance that some animals may attack and try and feed on you. Look for signs of animal tracks and carcasses along the ground, as predators might use these as bait to lure other animals close enough for an easy catch. If possible, avoid areas where it seems like lots of animal activity at night because this could mean they’re anticipating something moving about, such as yourself!