If you are thinking of exploring the wild or even just hiking for a couple of hours, you must set a doable plan for your entire trip. For instance, to keep yourself protected from unexpected weather conditions, you must pack more water than you think you will be using as well as additional clothes and some dried fruit and nuts. Be sure to also bring a compass with you because your cellphone might lose some power deeming them useless during your trip. Pack some extra socks, flint, matches, flashlight, and a blanket. Basically, pack anything that you think will help you better survive the night while in the wild.
Make sure that you plan your route accordingly. Furthermore, look into the type of terrain you will most likely be exploring and dress accordingly. Before setting out on your trail, b sure to keep track of any alerts regarding trail closures, bears, flooding, or fires. Even if you want to explore the wild alone, for your safety, always tell your parents, friends, or relatives regarding your path and destination as well as your departure and arrival times. If you are going to be traveling by vehicle to reach your destination, make sure that you inform them about the plate number, type, and color of vehicle you are using. Hiking alone is always a dangerous adventure. If possible, always have a friend with you during your entire trip in the wild.
If you think that you are lost, STOP!
• Stop: Take off your backpack and find a place that you can sit that is comfortable enough. Slow down your breaths. Close your eyes while breathing slowly. Inhale through your nose using a controlled and even breathing pattern. Feel your breath fill the inside of your stomach and then your chest area. If you are having a hard time inhaling another breath, hold it in for 3 seconds and then slowly exhale through pursed lips. Keep your shoulders relaxed open your mind and listen to your breathing sounds and the sounds around you and repeat.
• Think: Doing the exercise just mentioned above helps you think things more clearly to help you better overcome the current situation that you are in. Prioritizing becomes second nature if you are not in a panic state and if your mind is clear.
• Observe: Take a look at what you have left in your pack. Do you have something that will help you create a shelter for you? Take a look at your surroundings. Are there animals or plants nearby that can be turned into your food supply? Is there a good water supply near you? Do not move away from your location unless you find a reason to take a step further. As your last resort, you can follow a stream that goes downhill.
• Plan: Once you are done with the abovementioned steps, you then proceed in planning your next steps. How can you better cope with your current situation? By keeping a more positive mind, you have more chances of survival. Be sure to put your plans into action such as seeking or building shelter, building a fire, and obtaining water. Do not be content in just siting on the ground doing nothing and just waiting to be found.