What to Do If You Get Lost While Camping?

Group of seven young adults hanging out around a campfire

As the weather finally breaks after a long cold winter, many people are planning their vacations around the country. While some prefer the beach, many families opt to travel to campgrounds or national parks to spend time in nature. One of the most common activities on these adventures is camping outdoors. 

Even though hiking and camping are great ways to spend time with loved ones or enjoy the wilderness, it does have some risks, such as getting lost. In fact, in 2021, there were nearly 1,500 instances of hikers and campers needing Search and Rescue to come to find them because they couldn’t find their way out.

One way to increase your chances of not getting lost while camping is to use a GPS location tracker like Life360. Along with the location-sharing device, this article will also discuss seven important tips on what to do if you become lost camping. 

7 Things to Do if You Get Lost While Camping

Realizing you’re lost can be a terrifying experience, especially in unfamiliar territory. If you find yourself lost while camping, there are several steps you can take to ensure you make it home safely — those steps include the following. 

1. Stop, Think, Observe and Plan

One of the first things most people do when they realize they’re lost is panic. However, panic is the worst thing you could do in this situation. Instead, try stopping and taking a deep breath to calm yourself and review your surroundings. 

2. Stay Put if You Cannot Familiarize Yourself with the Location

As you look around, you might realize that some of the area looks familiar. If you can retrace your steps or have a map that can determine where you’re at, then you might be able to find your way out. However, staying put is often the best course of action recommended by Search and Rescue teams. 

3. Drink Plenty of Water

Dehydration is one of the most dangerous parts of being lost while camping. It’s essential to ration any water you have and consistently drink each hour to avoid dehydration. If you run out of water, you’ll want to look for ways to purify local water sources, like boiling it over a fire or placing it in a plastic bottle and letting it sit in the sun for 24 hours. 

4. Seek Shelter

The second most challenging aspect of being lost camping is finding a way to stay protected from the elements and wildlife, especially at night. If you don’t have a tent, some of the best places to hang out and avoid the sun or rain are under large trees, caves, or a makeshift brush tent.

5. Build a Fire

Building a fire as quickly as possible is key to keeping yourself warm, purifying water, and cooking food if needed. Fire can also provide a natural deterrent for predators and offer protection from low nightly temperatures. 

6. Eat Food to Keep Energized

Keeping your energy up is crucial for surviving if you get lost while camping. You’ll want to portion out any food you have and begin searching for any berries, plants, or insects in the area that are safe to eat.

Bonus Tip: 

Before camping, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different types of berries, plants, and insects that could provide you with substance if needed. 

7. Stay Warm and Dry

Staying warm and dry is essential, especially at night when temperatures plummet. If you have extra clothing, put them on before bed. Otherwise, look around the area for items to use for warmth, like large leaves and thickets. 

Life360 is Essential to Camping Safety

Preparing beforehand is one of the best ways to avoid getting lost while camping. Utilizing a GPS location-sharing service, such as Life360, can provide life-saving support if an accident happens or you can’t find your way home. 

Features such as SOS alerts that notify emergency contacts of your location can help others find you quickly. The app also comes with additional services that provide additional support, including disaster response and emergency dispatch

Always Find Your Way with Life360

Camping is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the world’s beauty. However, it’s just as important to properly prepare for emergencies or in the event you get lost while camping. With Life360, you’ll have all the support and help you need should you ever find yourself not knowing how to get back home. Register online today.

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