Like many of us, you probably grew up watching Land of the Lost. The show was more than just mindless escapism, though. It was also a survival skills seminar.

It’s easy to make mistakes in the wilderness that could cost you your life. To avoid these blunders, follow the advice from experts who teach survival classes and guide rescuers in their search for lost hikers.

Don’t panic

Wilderness survival is possible with the right knowledge. But, even experienced hikers can get lost in the wilderness at some point.

That’s why it is so important to stay calm during a lost in the wild situation. Panicking can distract you from the essential tasks at hand, and can lead to further problems like hypothermia or dehydration.

According to a study from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most common reason that people get lost in the wilderness is wandering off the trail. Other reasons include bad weather, injury or being separated from a group. The last one is particularly dangerous because it may result in you becoming disoriented.

The first step in wilderness survival is to take inventory of all the resources that you have. This includes your backpack with the Ten Essentials and any food or water you brought with you. Once you have a list, it is important to prioritize your needs. Usually, the first priority is to find water, followed by shelter and then warmth.

Another thing that people often forget about is the importance of being able to signal for help. The best way to do this is by blowing a whistle or using your cell phone to send out a distress call. You also want to make sure you have a fire going, because that will keep you warm and also attract rescuers’ attention.

Finally, you should be careful about what you eat. Never eat anything that you cannot safely identify, because it could be poisonous or cause severe illness. If you are desperate for food, try to ration it and stick to what your body is used to eating.

Don’t move

Many people who get lost in the wild end up making matters worse by continuing to wander around. In a survival situation, this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Searchers can’t hit a moving target, and continuing to wander will only lead you further away from civilization.

You should only move if you have a clear reason to do so. For example, if you know that you are close to a road or other landmark, it might be worth it to travel in that direction in order to find help. Otherwise, you should stay put until you can figure out how to orient yourself.

Another important reason to stay in place is that it will give you more time to scavenge food and water. You need to eat at least two to four quarts of water daily to survive in the wilderness, and it’s hard to find enough of it without moving around. In addition, you should always carry a means of purifying your water, as mountain streams may be contaminated with parasites that could kill you.

Finally, staying put will also allow you to build a shelter and mark your location with an improvised flag or other type of signal. This will allow rescuers to find your location more easily, which can save your life in the long run.

Don’t hide

Getting lost in the wilderness is no picnic. Even when you’re prepared with a map, GPS and basic survival tools, there’s still a chance things could go wrong.

A good rule of thumb to remember when hiking in the wild is to “hope for the best, plan for the worst.” That means preparing ahead and packing emergency essentials for any situation. The article link attached here shows you how to make an MRE at home to better prepare yourself and others. But if the unthinkable does happen, it’s important to know how to react to ensure your survival until help arrives.

According to a wilderness survival instructor, the first thing you need to do is find shelter and water. Then, focus on creating fire for warmth and signaling for rescuers. The next priority is food — but it’s not as simple as just finding something to eat. You have to make sure that whatever you’re eating is safe, and this can be difficult in the wilderness, as many plants contain poisonous parts or leaves that look like edible ones.

While you search for these items, don’t be afraid to be creative. For example, if you’re desperate for warmth, you can use snow and other debris to make an improvised blanket. Also, don’t forget to mark your shelter with an improvised flag or other type of signal, so rescuers can locate it when you need to leave.

It’s also a good idea to avoid traveling at night. That’s because it’s more likely that you will encounter a predator and your chances of being rescued are much lower than during the day. Moreover, it’s more challenging to navigate at night, and your ability to see will be limited. This can lead to more impulsive decisions that can jeopardize your survival.

Don’t give up

No matter how well you prepare, an unexpected wilderness emergency can quickly turn a fun day hike into a life or death battle. From slipping on a rock to losing track of your trail, it’s not uncommon for even experienced hikers to find themselves stranded in the woods. The following survival tips can help you avoid becoming one of the statistics:

Staying focused on the goal is essential in a survival situation. Getting frustrated or giving up is an easy mistake to make, but it can also be fatal. Instead, try to focus on the small steps needed to achieve your goal. For example, if you’re lost, don’t get frustrated by the fact that you can’t find your way out of the woods; instead, look for smaller ways to survive like a flora-based diet.

Another crucial survival tip is to never give up hope. Even if you’re lost in the wilderness, you can still make it home if you’re determined enough. Stay positive, and remember that survival is a mind game as much as it is a physical challenge.

To increase your chances of surviving in the wild, learn to recognize and use natural navigation tools, including maps, compasses and star constellations. You should also practice building shelters and finding food sources so that you can build up your endurance and stamina. Finally, take a survival class to learn skills that will come in handy during an emergency, such as wilderness first aid. This will allow you to treat minor injuries, such as scratches and cuts, while waiting for help to arrive.

Don’t rely on rescue teams

While it is possible to survive in the wild without outside help, you should always prepare yourself for the possibility that you may lose your way or run out of supplies. The best way to do this is by taking a survival course or practicing with a friend. You should also carry a personal locator beacon, first-aid supplies, fire making supplies, food, and water treatment tablets. Also, make sure to let someone know where you are going and arrange a check in time. This will ensure that if you don’t return, the people you told will know that something is wrong and will initiate a search operation.

According to a study conducted by Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most common reason for people getting lost in the wilderness is wandering off of a trail (41%). Bad weather and losing sight of the group are other reasons.

Wilderness survivors often find ways to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. They often achieve this by breaking down their objectives into small, manageable steps. For example, they might focus on reaching the next bend in a river, and then another. This helps them keep their spirits up and prevents rash decisions.

The most important thing to remember when you get lost in the wilderness is to stay calm. You should try to think clearly, assess your situation and determine your location. You should also try to build a shelter and stay warm and dry. It is also a good idea to signal for help, such as by blowing a whistle or using a glow stick. It is also a good idea to wear extra clothing and to look for natural resources that you can use to create a fire.