This happened to me on the last day of deer season (shotgun- a Saturday) back in November but ive been too busy/lazy to write about it..
My dad was sitting in a field and I was going to walk through a piece of bush behind it to see if I couldnt push any thing through. I started in and I guess I just kept going deeper and deeper because I ended up in the thickest swamp on gods green earth. I had no clue where I was but I wasnt about to turn around and blow the drive so I kept pushing and barking in the direction (I thought) was going to take me back to the field. Well, after about half an hour of drudging through ankle high water and down trees/super thick swamp I came to the conclusion that I was lost. I radioed my dad but he didnt have his turned on. I started freaking out and walking super fast splashing through the water (it had a small layer of ice which I was breaking through). I was so pumped up on adrenaline all I could think about was Im not going to get out of here etc etc. I was sweating and was super hot and worked up, I was just about to take my coat off, (it was like -10 C). I remember having thoughts of drinking the swamp water I was that bad. There was a little bit of snow ont he ground so I eventually tried following it back, but kept losing it through the water etc. I eventually came to a piece of hardwood that I remembered seeing and once I seen it I remembered my way back.
Back in the hunter safety course I remember them showing us a movie with reinactments on what not to do and hunters getting lost or injured etc. They showed this one where a guy got lost in the middle of winter and started freaking out, throwing his gun away, taking off all his clothes and running around screaming in his underwear. He got hypothermia really bad but eventually he got out of there. I remember thinking at the time, how could you possibly strip down to your underwear in the middle of winter and throw all your belongings away like this, but after my experience this past deer season I can understand fully..
Has anyone else here ever been lost? Spend a night in the bush? Tell your stories..
well i coonhunt some of the biggest hills around here in tennessee.and deer hunt them to.one time i was coonhunting the dogs went over the hill crossed another hill and another ,well i followed them.i got to a point i did not no where i was.well i got my dogs,but it took me 6 hours to get back to the truck from then on my compass goes with me,next year going to get me a gps.if you keep a good compass reading you will get out.when my coonhounds tree somewhere where i don't no ,i break trees pointing to where i need to go.it sucks getting lost,add leading the hounds.. your mind racing 100 mph thinking am i going to get out of hear.i always bring me a survival kit.glow sticks,horn ,whistle,matches,rope,good knife,band aids,etc......always keep a compass reading you will be just fine.i forgot,carry extra flashlight,and flares.
I have been lost/turned around so many times it would take me weeks to tell you all the stories[&:]. I have never had to stay in the woods overnight or thought about losing the clothes though
One time while duck hunting a slough in the evening, heavy fog rolled in when I was picking up me dekes and I had to navigate out due west to the truck(being duck season and flat land I never even had a compass). To make this story short I walked south, then east, then west, then south, then north and finally found my truck at 10:00 pm, hunting ended at 6:30pm. Completely screwed up, even when I was going north I stopped a few times and looked south...weird. Guess what I now have a compass on me at all times.
It happens to us all but I have always entered the woods with the possibilty I may not come out until the next day. I pack my compass & GPS but as well a flashlight, firestarter, lighter, extra gloves, snacks, TP & H20. Like a boyscout always be prepared.
I have been that lost on several occasions. Hunting public land as I do you have to get FAR away from the beaten path. Many time when scouting or still hunting/stalking I will come to a place on a ATV trail or logging road that looks good and turn 90 degrees and start walking away from the trail. Found lots of good stuff that way. Also got lost that way. GPS is great but nothing can equal good knowledge of how to survive in the wild. I'm talking about how to build shelter that will protect you from the elements, how to find food, how to find water, and how to make fire (primitvely) to stay warm and dry or to dry wet clothing. For those of us that live in warm climes the fire and dry clothes is not as much of a big deal as it is for y'all in colder areas where it can mean life or death. However it is stuff that all of us who venture into uninhabited territory should know.
If you can afford them go to one of the survival schools. Or even better, several of them. Most of them are well worth the money. If that is out of your budget, get some books and practice in the back yard. Practice making fire with a variety of methods (bow&drill, flint and steel, magnesium fireblock, etc). Some methods take a little practice but don't give up. Your kids (and yur buddies) will think you are the s#@t for starting a fire with seemingly nothing. Get proficient with several different methods. Take a camping trip in the off-season and practice building your shelter and finding food and water. Also try some of these foods BEFORE you have to rely on them to keep you alive. Water is MUCH more important than food. A person can go for more than a month without food. You will not live more than a feww days without water. With a little practice you will be surprised at how easy it can be to sustain yourself for rather long periods of time on nothing more than what you find in the woods that you spend all winter in.
ALWAYS, ALWAYS carry a survival kit with you. There are several lists available but the bare minimum (in my opinion) would be:
1. At least 3 sources of fire. These can occupy a surprisingly small amount of space. I carry a magnesium fireblock from Wal-mart, a 35mm film canister full of cotton and a Bic lighter, and a small, DRY wood block with which to make a bow and drill.
2. A small amount (25-50 feet) of twine or 550 cord. This can be used for any number of things from making your bow&drill for fire, tying your logs, limbs, etc together for shelter, making traps, making splints and slings, etc. The uses of this stuff is only limited by your imagination.
3. A small first aid kit. These can be as simple or as elaborate as you want and have money and room for. Some items should include a small assortment of band-aids, triple-antibiotic oitment, a small supply of Tylenol or Advil, a small rol of gauze, and a few 4x4 bandages. All of these can be obtained at your local drug store. You can also include anything that is necessary for your personal needs such as contact lenses and solution (if you wear them), a small supply of prescription meds that you may take, etc.
4. Water purification tablets. No elaboration needed I don't think. Get them in the camping section of your local outdoor store.
5. One other thing that I have found indispensible throughout my military career and my various camping, hunting, and survival trips is one or two packs of disposable baby wipes. These can be bought just about anywhere such as Walmart or the grocery store. They are good for cleaning wounds, cleaning hands before eating or after cleaning game, cleaning up when you have to take the inevitable poop, and the one that I have found most uplifting, a bath.
6. A signal device such as a marine whistle. You can get these in the boating section of most major sporting goods stores.
All of this will fit in the cargo pocket of you pants or a similar space in your pack (in a zip-lock bag of course.)I carry mine in a 1 Quart Zip-Lock bag in the cargo pocket of my pants. That way it is always with me.
When you think you are lost the first thing to do is STOP. Sit down and take a deep breath and calm down. Take a few minutes to just relax. Take an inventory of what you have with you and what you know. After that you should feel better and be able to think much clearer. A positive attitude is your most valuable asset in ANY survival situation. Practice just a little and you wil be utterly amazed at how easy it can be.
I've gotten lost a few times but one time really bad. Me and my dad were squirrel hunting and decided to go in opposite directions and meet up at the truck later. I thought I knew these woods pretty well. After shooting a few squirrels and crossing a few creeks, I decided it was time to start walking back. To cut it short, I had crossed the same creek about 5 times in different spots and didn't know which side I was really on. The sun had already gone down and I got panicky. I tried to calm down and figure out which direction the truck was. I picked a direction and took off walking. I kept listening because I knew my dad would be blowing the horn or something when I wasn't back at dark. I ended up getting out of the woods about 2 o'clock that morning when I hit a road that was a about 7 miles from where the truck was. I walked down the road until I came to house and cautiously,( man with a gun at night) they let me use the phone. I called my house and my mom was going crazy. They had set up a search team and had started in the woods. She then called Dad on his cell phone and everyting was fine. But I sure learned a valuable lesson and it scared the #### out of me. I'm glad I was able to calm down and compose myself. Good Hunting
[&:] Sometimes I wish I could get lost in the woods. Well ok maybe this has something to do with the macho chip on my shoulder. I guess what i mean is that I feel the need to test myself on just how much a woodsman I am. Will I be able to remain calm or will panic set in having me running threw the woods in my draws? Can I spend a freezing cold night in the woods alone lost an make it out alive with all my close in their ritefull place?
I just got A gps aswell so I think once I learn to use this damn infernal machine I should be safe. Providing I keep fresh batteries on hand of course.
But just incase I bring My 2 way radio an a cellphone both could be made inoperable in one fall. So I bring my space bag folded about the size of a pack of butts. the bag looks to me like the inside of a potatoe chip bag. Its supposed to reflect a serious amount of your body heat back. Plus a S-load of those chemical hand warmers. I also bring along a lighter an some balck powder, great for starting huge forest fires an sure to get some attention. Oh yea an a compass. hehe an some food anything thats on hand.
I've also begain carying around a topo map of the area i'm hunting.
My brother an I had an incident on opening day bowseason.We were on newly aquired DEP watershed land that had been closed to hunting for the past 30 years. So as you could imagine in a bow only area it was packed with many hunters. My brother an I were still-hunting about 80 yards apart prety much getting the lay of the land. Unfortunatly my brother kept getting bounced around by other hunters so he would change course to circumvent them. Eventualy I found a spot that looked promising so I set up my treestand seat an my blind an I was set for the afternoon hunt. We only had a few hours of light left at this point an he was getting agitated with all the presure in the area.
At about an hour before sunset he decided to walk back in my direction cause once again he was bumped by another hunter. This is when we relized we were in trouble. Long story short he had a compass an a topo map plus our 2 way radios. So with this plus the low flying commercial airplanes I was able to get him back on the rite track oops I mean we were. Turns out he was about 700 yards off from where we thought he was. Thankfully we were able to meet up about 15 minutes before last light.
I know this dosn't sound all that bad but you can all imagine what could have happened had we not had the tools an the patience.
I would believe that probably the two most immediate problems/issues to deal with are:
1. The ability to remain calm.
2. The ability to stave off hypothermia.
If you have those two means.....most other issues will resolve themselves!
I have spent so many nights in the woods/dark/etc., that for me it is no more unusual than spending a day in the woods. (Twenty years in the Infantry helped to some degree.) H**l....some of my scariest nights were spent in places like Camden, New York, Baltimore, Frankfurt, Berlin, etc...before I grew up enough to learn to stay out of those kind of places at night! (And for that matter the "day" as well!) But I digress.....
The biggest factor in being able to remain calm is to have confidence in your abilities. And this confidence....or lack of...will to a large degree be proportional to your skills and proficiency in outdoor lore. Many, if not all, of these skills can be learned prior to ever spending a day outdoors...but until you've actually put them into practice you may lack confidence in your abilities. And even though many (especially men) won't admit it, your ability to control your "fear of the dark or the unknown". I know, I know.....I've yet to meet a "manly man" that ever admitted they were afraid of the dark...in an unknown environment.....BUT...I've seen it on their faces, (under those circumstances). And realizing that there is nothing more to fear in the dark...or in a "spot on the ground" that you haven't been before.....is half the battle.
Many survival manuals/experts will talk about having the ability to construct a "make shift shelter". But unless you are intending to relive Robinson Crusoe's adventures.....or have gone into the woods completely unprepared...to a large degree these shelters are NOT necessary. If by building one you can remain calm, focused, and don't compromise your body heat...then build one. But with all of today's "space blankets", emergency bivys, etc.....an expedient built shelter just burns energy needlessly. By carrying either the "emergency tarp/blanket/bivy" you can protect against hypothermia in all the but the absolute most extremes. And they weigh only ounces. They are more important than the 3 or 4 "Power Bars" you should also have. If you include a tiny "candle lantern" with your gear, it can provide an amazing amount of heat nestled under your emergency tarp that is draped over you! (Plus light just makes a person "feel good" and helps to bolster confidence and calm.)
But if you have practiced some land navigation skills and have every confidence in your GPS, map, and compass....and know for a fact that you'd never get lost where you hunt. Suppose you broke a leg? Back to needing the emergency shelter.....so take it anyway!
After those two issues have been addressed. Insure you have access to drinkable water. And the easiest way is to carry a "backpacker's" portable water filter/pump. Backed up with a small supply of water purification tablets...and/or the ability to boil the water...will resolve the problem. But don't rely on being able to boil the water. For purification purposes, depending upon altitude, could require 20 minutes at a rolling boil. And you may not be able to count on having a heat source capable of that. So use the filter and purification. I carry at a minimum a two quart collaspable canteen...plus whatever bottled liquid/drink I happen to prefer. So water is not a problem for me unless I'd be out over a night or two. Then if you must....use the filter/purification tablets.
And as for food....unless you are going to be "lost" for two weeks or more....food is more a "comfort" than a necessity. (Unfortunately most of us have "reserves" for even longer than that!) But a couple of "nutrition bars can be a psychological comfort.
And of course, include an adequate first aid kit.
If you are hunting a true wilderness area....or vast tracts of uninhabited lands...then more of a kit is called for. If you are hunting the back 40 then maybe just bottled water and a space blanket will get you by. (Remember the broken leg?) But there is not a piece of equipment on earth that will be of any value if you don't have the confidence....and calm....to put it to use! Practice your skills before the trips, (overnighters and weekenders are great for this). Spend a few nights out in the dark with only an emergency blanket, (during the summer months), even if it's in your back yard. (Get's pretty chilly even on a summer night....huh?) And remain confident in your abilities!
Better to know more than you need....than not know enough!
You can live life, or simply grow old!
I use a Silva compass, got a string tied around it, when getting ready to hunt it is the first thing I put on after my clothes. Always take a reading after parking the truck. Always use it, even when hunting land that you know.(good practice) If you have a compass, have taken a reading, then you are never lost!
I also have a Garmin GPS, I played with it the first year I had it. Pretty cool, don't hardly ever use it these days.
not lost , just temporarliy sidetracked....it can be scary, i always try to have at least 2 compasses and i keep an eye on that sun , if it's out, lol..doesnt do much good if'n it's covered by clouds....
actually we, me and fl. got way off course the other day, so we just beelined it to the west until we hit road., her compass was all messed up, looking right at the sun and it was saying it was north, yet it was 7:00 a.m.....went through some nasty stuff, but we got there and hunted for a few hours til Fl. got a hog, then the 4 hour drag back bout killed us...and it was only 108lbs. , but we were so far back, the first mile went ok, after that it was really hard....but we got out
Don't go leaving your ethics in the truck