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Strayed Off The Trail

Discussion in 'Trails' started by 2sweed, May 14, 2013.

  1. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    Sometimes when walking in the woods it is easy to stray off the main trail and find yourself on a lesser worn trail that where it goes is unknown or it goes just so far and ends without a trace. Other times we might see a plant or a flower, or even an animal like a doe and fawn, and be so interested in what they are doing and follow without thinking ending up off the trail and lost.

    Most of us watch where we are going and even these bunny trail side trips are noted in notching a tree or noticing our surrounding. But even so it is possible to get a seasoned hiker or backpacker, or camper lost. So my question to you is have you ever taking the road less traveled and ended up far from where you were headed, needing to then decided whether to retrace your steps, or strike out through the forest trying to find the trail by heading in that direction.

    I remember once many years ago of being mixed up for a short time going with a section of scrub brush in Florida. I picked a direction and followed it in hopes of coming out at a fire tower. Luck was with me in picking my direction as when I arrived at the tower, the ranger told me that the other trail I had considered wound around in circles and would have taken me far into the woods with no end in sight. I was very happy that I made it out of the area before it got dark.

    Anyone have an experience to share? Post it here.
  2. Jpix

    Jpix Newbie

    I have only gotten lost once so far, I remember it was at a new campground that we had never been to before. We should have known better but it had seemed like the trail just went a long way in just one direction so we started walking. A hour or two later after walking and talking, this time not actually paying much attention to our scenery as we were enjoying each other, we started to head back, only to realize that the trail branches off in certain directions and we didn't realize. We discussed how to find out way back and decided just to turn around and walk in a straight line. Luckily, that was the correct way to get back to where we were. Since then, we pay a bit more attention to the path.
  3. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    Occasionally I follow trails, but I like to just hike so this sort of situation has never been much of an issue. I mean I can forget where I came in or what direction my car might be in, but that's what my compass and GPS and maps and trail marker(s) are for. It only took getting hopelessly lost one time to teach me my lesson.
  4. Kementarri

    Kementarri Newbie

    I remember I got lost once and it was on a new trail that I had never been on (went with my boyfriend at the time) and we were merrily walking along talking and enjoying the scenery (it was a long hike) and we ended up coming to a cross roads with a couple of signs. We chose the sign that kept us going around the trail (or so we thought - we read our map wrong), and we ended up going around in circles until we found someone who pointed us in the right direction. If I remember correctly we were on that trail for an entire day (close to 7 hours)... so we got our full hike in... but it was a slightly scary experience.

    Since that experience, I always make sure that I take some form of GPS/ trail markers out with me when I go hiking because as much as I enjoy hiking, I don't enjoy being lost.
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