Monday, April 17, 2023

Phillip Elden: Stay Calm If You Get Lost While Hiking

Phillip Elden

Phillip Elden is an avid mountain climber, and he knows all too well that getting lost is a frightening experience. However, he says that staying calm is the key to survival. Today, Elden shares a few quick tips that may help you stay alive if you find yourself alone with no sense of direction. 
Stop and assess your situation. 
If you realize you have lost, stop and try to assess your surroundings. Look for familiar sights to see if you can retrace your steps. 
Stay put. 
According to Phillip Elden, if you can’t figure out where you are, stay where you are. It’s much easier for rescuers to find a stationary target than one moving around. 

Signal for help. 
According to Phillip Elden, it’s best to carry a signaling device with you to alert rescuers if you do happen to become lost. However, you can also create signals with rocks and branches that can be seen from the air. Likewise, if it’s safe and you have the equipment, consider starting a small fire and allowing it to smoke by putting leaves and other debris into it. 
Stay warm and dry. 
Staying warm and dry is crucial. Build a shelter using any materials that you can find, including branches and leaves. Phillip Elden recommends staying in the shelter to conserve energy and using it for shade during the hottest parts of the day. 
Drink water. 
Dehydration can be dangerous, so look for a freshwater source like a mountain stream. If you do not see one handy, you may collect rainfall or dew from leaves or puddles. 
Use the sun for direction. 
If it’s not safe to stay put, Phillip Elden says that you can follow the sun as it sets and rises in the west and the east. If possible, stay on trails and avoid dangerous terrain, which can get you further lost. 
Use your cell phone. 
If you have a cell phone, try calling for help. If you don’t have a signal, your GPS may have an offline map that can help you find your way back to the trail. 
The vast majority of people who get lost while hiking are eventually found. Phillip Elden says that the key to staying safe is staying calm. That and the other tips listed above can help you avoid being a story on the 5 o’clock news.