How to Survive Being Lost in the Forest

One Methods:Being Prepared

In this article you will find out how to survive if you find yourself lost in the forest.It show you what to do and how to get out alive.


  1. Image titled Survive Being Lost in the Forest Step 1
    Stop. Do not continue to walk through the forest, as this may make you even more confused and lost than before. Staying where you are may increase your chances of being rescued because you are closer to the place you went missing which is where rescuers will search first.
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    Think clearly and make a plan. Try to calm down and take deep breaths. If you can think clearly you will have a better chance of survival. Also if it is close to nighttime you will need all the planning you can do to survive that first night. Making a plan helps to focus you on surviving and to make you feel better and confident about your situation.
  3. Image titled Survive Being Lost in the Forest Step 3
    Build a shelter. This will help keep you warm, provide a dry place to sleep, and make you feel more secure. The shelter doesn't have to be anything fancy, just enough to keep most of the rain off and to keep you warm and secure. If you don't have enough time to make a shelter try to huddle up under a tree for the night.
  4. Image titled Survive Being Lost in the Forest Step 4
    Make a fire. This is the most important step as it will allow you to cook food, boil water, warm up, and most importantly, keep the wild animals away. If you don't have match or flint, there are other techniques that can be used to start a fire. Two of the most popular ways are the hand drill method and the fire bow method. Both methods have materials that can be gathered from your surroundings.
  5. Image titled Survive Being Lost in the Forest Step 5
    Find food and water sources. This step is also critical to your survival. After your first night, you should recon the area looking for animal tracks, edible plants, (don't eat anything if you don't know what it is!) and a stream or brook
  6. Image titled Survive Being Lost in the Forest Step 6
    Signal for help! Once you have done all the things in steps 1-5 you should be set for as long as it takes to get rescued. Try to signal anyone and anything to get you out of there.

Being Prepared

  1. Image titled Survive Being Lost in the Forest Step 7
    Bring with you the necessary supplies on a hike or camping trip. This means having things like matches (preferably waterproof), a compass, a map, something warm, food and water. Anything can happen when you go into the woods, so it is best to try to be as prepared as possible beforehand.
    • You should also make sure you bring a pocket knife with you. This way, you can use it to help you make a shelter, open cans, and cut thread to make a fishing string.
    • Bring a mirror (a small compact mirror is fine). If you're lost in the woods it will be really hard for your rescuers to locate you. You can use a mirror to signal to a helicopter or small plane your whereabouts.
    • Bring a condom. As silly as this sounds, a condom can hold up to a gallon of water, which can be a saving grace for you since you'll be needing water to survive and this can act as an emergency container.
    • A first aid kit can be literally life-saving. If you're planning on taking a trip in the wilderness make sure that you have one of these.
    • Bring a trash bag. They fold up small and can be used to waterproof yourself or your shelter.
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    Don't rely on your cell phone. While it's true that some people have been rescued from the wilderness because they had their cell phone (and were able to call out, or rescuers were able to triangulate their signal) there are many ways a cell phone can become useless (battery dies, you're out of range, etc).
    • Make sure that you're prepared to function without a cell phone and that you've told someone what your plans are so when you don't show up at the appointed time and place there is someone who can get help for you.
  3. Image titled Survive Being Lost in the Forest Step 9
    Make sure you have the appropriate footwear. Footwear is incredibly important for being in the woods. Don't go out in sandals, even if it's only for a short hike (again, anything can happen and you have to be prepared). Make sure that if you're going out into the woods that you wear sturdy shoes (preferably hiking boots) and socks.
    • If you're lost, no matter what, keep your socks. Losing your socks, and protection for your feet, can spell disaster for you (worse disaster than just being lost in the forest).
  4. Image titled Survive Being Lost in the Forest Step 10
    Know the most important basics of survival. There are three things that you will absolutely need if you're going to survive: appropriate shelter, fresh water, and a latrine. These are more important than food, even, because you can survive without food for longer than you can survive without shelter or fresh water.
    • For shelter you'll need something that is out of the wind (a silent, deadly enemy in the fight for survival) and ground cover (the cold, dampness of the ground will make you far colder when you're trying to sleep at night and protect yourself). Try to make it low to the ground, so that it's out of the wind as much as possible.
    • You'll also need a nearby fresh water source. Nearby basically means that it's within half an hour's walk. try to find a large body of water. When you're concerned with survival, there's often not much you can do about water purity, but hope for the best and try to find somewhere that the water's moving quickly (unless you brought a water purifier with you).
    • When you're making your latrine, it will need to be downhill from your water source, preferably downwind from your shelter, and should be at least 100 meters from your shelter. This is important so that you don't contaminate your water and food supplies. Try to make it at least 2 feet deep and leave the dirt from the hole beside it. After each use, dump a handful of the dirt in over your business.


  • Always be careful when walking in the woods and try not to get lost!
  • Always bring a map and/or a compass if you're going to be in the forest for an extended period of time, no matter how well you think you know the area.
  • Learn how to build shelters.
  • Research fire building techniques and practice them.
  • Once Again, be careful!
  • Learn how to make snares and other game catching devices.


  • Do not try to get lost on purpose to test out your skills. Being lost is not a good thing
  • Be careful in the forest and know where you are.
  • Never seek high ground during a thunderstorm.

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Categories: Survival Kits