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In thick fog or fast-falling snow, the best Scout may go astray for lack of the faithful needle.  Make it a rule, then, an iron rule of wilderness life, never to leave your bed in the morning without whistle, compass, jackknife, and waterproof matches.

In such predicament as this, a man is really in serious peril.  The danger is not from the wilderness which, although pitiless to the weak-minded or disabled, can  be forced to yield food and shelter if you just keep your wits about you. 

A man's danger is from himself.  Certainly it is true that if he permits panic to conquer him, he is likely either to perish or to come out of the woods a gibbering lunatic.  There have been many such cases, but they are not the rule.  Thousands of wayfarers have been lost for a day, two days, or longer, without losing their self-control.

What to Do

No matter where, or in what circumstances, you may be, the moment you realize that you have lost your bearings, there is just one thing for you to do: STOP!  Then sit down.

Any Scout can remember that, a bit of "book learning" that no woodsman can afford to ignore.  To STOP is the one and only way to clear your wits, to drive off the demon panic, and it is sure to help get you out of your predicament.

It won't take long for you to recover sense enough to know that if you stay right where you are until morning your companions, by that time, will be searching for you.  They will be scouring the woods, scouting for your trail.  Suppose you do have to stay out all night, alone in the woods; nothing will hurt you. 

 Remember, if you are lost, that snowshoe tracks, even though deeply snowed in, will still be visible in spots from the very slight depressions where the snow has drifted unevenly.  Remember also that a bivouac in the woods and in a howling blizzard is not even particularly dangerous if gone about in the right way

If you know you are lost and have no definite idea of the direction of camp, quit early and bivouac for the night.  Dig a hole in the snow with your snowshoes and make as good a shelter as possible with boughs either cut or broken from the spruces.  Break off all the dry dead limbs that you can from surrounding trees and break up all the dry stubs you can find.

Make a fire in one end of your hole in the snow and pile on some green wood.  You need not cut the green wood very short, but when it burns at the ends push the pieces again over the flames.  Do not make the fire too large, and keep close to it.  A small fire will be warm enough, will save much wood, and economize your strength in proportion.

In the morning tackle the problem again, and if you are really, truly, and completely lost, go at it by a process of elimination.  Just how you will work out this process depends upon the lay of the land and how clearly you have certain features of it in mind.  If you have left your permanent camp in the morning and become lost the same day, you can weather practically any kind of a night in the woods and almost invariably find camp before the next night if you keep your head.

 

 

   

 

 


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Dead Bugs, Blow Guns, Sharp Knives, & Snakes:
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2003, 2011 The Inquiry Net, http://inquiry.net  In addition to any Copyright still held by the original authors, the Scans, Optical Character Recognition, extensive Editing,  and HTML Coding on this Website are the property of the Webmaster.   My work may be used by individuals for non-commercial, non-web-based activities, such as Scouting, research, teaching, and personal use so long as this copyright statement and a URL to my material is included in the text
The purpose of this Website is to provide access  to hard to find, out-of-print documents.  Much of the content has been edited to be of practical use in today's world and is not intended as historical preservation.   I will be happy to provide scans of specific short passages in the original documents for people involved in academic research.  

 

Last modified: October 15, 2016.

 

 

>

 

 

   

 

 


Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
[ If Lost ] Staying Found ] When Lost ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Navigation ] Cross Country Skis ] Snowshoes ] Winter Driving Tips ]

The Inquiry Net Main Topic Links:
 [Outdoor Skills]  [Patrol Method [Old-School]  [Adults [Advancement]  [Ideals]  [Leadership]  [Uniforms]

Search This Site:

Search Amazon.Com:

When you place an order with Amazon.Com using the search box below, a small referral fee is returned to The Inquiry Net to help defer the expense of keeping us online.  Thank you for your consideration!

Search:

Keywords:

Amazon Logo

 

 

Scout Books Trading Post

Dead Bugs, Blow Guns, Sharp Knives, & Snakes:
What More Could A Boy Want?

Old School Scouting:
What to Do, and How to Do It!

To Email me, replace "(at)" below with "@"
Rick(at)Kudu.Net

If you have questions about one of my 2,000 pages here, you must send me the "URL" of the page!
This "URL" is sometimes called the "Address" and it is usually found in a little box near the top of your screen.  Most URLs start with the letters "http://"

The Kudu Net is a backup "mirror" of The Inquiry Net.  

2003, 2011 The Inquiry Net, http://inquiry.net  In addition to any Copyright still held by the original authors, the Scans, Optical Character Recognition, extensive Editing,  and HTML Coding on this Website are the property of the Webmaster.   My work may be used by individuals for non-commercial, non-web-based activities, such as Scouting, research, teaching, and personal use so long as this copyright statement and a URL to my material is included in the text
The purpose of this Website is to provide access  to hard to find, out-of-print documents.  Much of the content has been edited to be of practical use in today's world and is not intended as historical preservation.   I will be happy to provide scans of specific short passages in the original documents for people involved in academic research.  

 

Last modified: October 15, 2016.