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Old August 30, 2012, 05:41 PM   #1
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Have you been LOST? (In the woods-lost in city doesn't count)

Now that the hunting season(s) are approaching, let me ask this question (as the title says)


I'll admit it: Been lost and for those who haven't thank your lucky stars.
All these survival shows (that I've watched) and stuff I've read, I have to agree with this much: It's the worst feeling in the world when you (finally) come to realization you are indeed lost! It's like a feeling like no other. It's a sickening, awful feeling that really can't be described.
It happened to me years ago, when I was hunting in NC and to put it simply I wasn't paying attention to my surroundings - just concentrated on hunting.
Fortunately I had the good sense to sit my but down and calm down, (cause once you realize you're lost panic sets in - quickly) and figure out where I was and how the hell I get myself out. And no I didn't have a map or compass (that was very dumb I know). However I was just familiar enough with the area (but not enough from keep from lost) to get my bearings and walk out. Actually it was a SWAG (scientific wild a__ __ guess) but it was the right one. However getting out wasn't a piece cake; I walked for many hours to get out but I made it out.
There's a old saying: The best lessons are the ones that were the hardest (or something like that) I would say that applies here. The good Lord was watching over me that day!
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Old August 30, 2012, 05:42 PM   #2
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Wasn't it Daniel Boone that once answered "I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks."?

I can think of twice I "was (also) confused" for an hour or two. Both times involved letting the Boy Scouts navigate
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Last edited by TXAZ; August 30, 2012 at 06:04 PM.
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Old August 30, 2012, 05:58 PM   #3
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Nope, I just drop the reins and let the horse find the barn when she's hungry.
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Old August 30, 2012, 06:16 PM   #4
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Excellent Egor ! I haven't been able to teach my F-150 how to do that yet.

I always checked a topographical map first .I think I'm one of the few who still knows how. Once we had a new hunter in our group. We asked to see his compass .He pulled it out and found it didn't work. No problem he said I have another one .That one didn't work either ![Murphy's Law]
Today you have GPS and cell phones but make sure you know how to operate them and know do they work in that area !!!

We had a woman in the group once and she was told if she got lost just go north until she hit the trail. The trail at that point in time could be hard to spot as it hadn't been maintained well.
She got lost , headed north -right over the trail -and kept walking.Miles later she found some help and the forest ranger took her back to camp.
And Watson , bring your revolver !
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Old August 30, 2012, 06:25 PM   #5
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I haven't been totally lost in the woods since I was about 7 years old. Even then, I was able to reason my way back home within half a day. I seem to have been born with a really good sense of direction. I will occasionally get turned around but if I give it a few minutes of thought I can work my way out of it.

I remember once I was hunting outside of Provo, Utah. I was a stupid college kid with NO supplies at all. Just a rifle and knife. The fog/snow rolled in and you couldn't see more than about 10 yds. Even then I was able to keep my head and work my way back to the truck. I knew that the mountain dropped off on my west and rose on the east. As long as I kept the uphill slope on my right I knew that I would eventually hit either the river or the old jeep trail. Sure enough, within about 2 hours I hit the old jeep trail.
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Old August 30, 2012, 06:51 PM   #6
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Yes, A couple of times In the dark. Thank God it was only a 9 square mile Block.
My hunting bud new the block like the back of his hand
2 hrs later we hit a road & new where we were at, On the other side
opposit the truck.

We took a short cut, a fire break that ran through the whole block.
Got to the truck Late for check in (FT Stewart) Ga.

I never leave the truck without my compass or now my GPS ; )
There's a GATOR in the bushes & She's Callin my name
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Old August 30, 2012, 07:01 PM   #7
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Yes, I've been lost. It's kind of a sick feeling.

I always look at a map and come up with an emergency recovery plan. That usually amounts to knowing that if I walk in a certain direction, I am going to hit a linear terrain feature (a road or trail is great, but a ridgelne or creek will do). I might have a long walk back to camp but I'll make it.

I always carry a lensatic compass even if I have a hand held GPS with spare batteries.
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Old August 30, 2012, 07:10 PM   #8
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If you have not been at least "temporarily confused as to your actual location", then you seriously lack an adventurous streak ...... I thought all young men possesed one. I certainly did, at one time.
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Old August 30, 2012, 07:12 PM   #9
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Never been lost in the woods. Been at the point I didn't know where I was but I knew how to get to where I was suppose to be.

Only time I've really been lost was went I went goat hunting out of Valdez AK. Older but pretty nice 30 foot cabin cruiser.

Found some goats but couldn't get to they in a reasonable length of time. Straight up through alder bushes.

We were suppose to head back that night. Problem is the boat owner and my hunting partner were drunk on their butts. They told me to take us back to Valdez. Problem is I didn't know anything about boats, It was pitch black so there was no stars.

I knew I was suppose to head north but that bay had some switches and turns that I didn't know and neither did my compass.

After about three or four hours going where I didn't know I started to see lights.

Screw it, I opened up both engines and headed for the lights.

Only it wasn't a town (not many there anyway). It was a friggin oil tanker.

I figured he was heading north, therefore to the oil tanks in Valdez.

I don't know if you ever seen the wake of an oil tanker but they are huge. Even when empty. ...........but you can't see them in the dark.

If you hit one of those wakes with a little 30 ft boat, its like hitting a brick wall. But at least I knocked my two would be hunting partners on their drunken butts, (only thing I accomplished that whole trip).

Got to town and swore never again, I'm not a sailer, I don't want to be a sailer, I'll do my hunting on land thank you.

But, I was talked into another trip on this boat. (Weak Monet). But I was saved that winter. The snow gets deep in Valdez, like over 20 feet. You're suppose to shovel the snow off your boat. My dear boat owner was on a drunken stupor and forgot. His boat sunk and he was hit with a pretty heavy find for polluting the harbor, causing him to loose his boat.

I made a lot of other hunting trips via boat, but that was inland water and in a lot smaller boat.

I certainly found out why people started using GPSs in boats. Maps suck when you can't see anything but black water and black sky's.
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Old August 30, 2012, 07:12 PM   #10
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I've never been in woods big enough to get really lost. How sad is that?
I'm not sure I've ever been over a mile and a half from pavement.

I've been a bit disoriented while tracking blood trails at night but I seem to have a better than average sense of direction.
The only time I ended up where I didn't want to be, which is where I still knew I'd end up, I was tracking with my dad and couldn't convince him I knew where the truck was. I went where he wanted to go, which ended up about a 1/2 mile from the truck.
We got back, sat on the tail gate and I looked up at the bright star to our east that I had told him was where we had to go, which was now (still) directly east of our truck and said "You see that star..."
"Shut up.", he said.
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Old August 30, 2012, 07:12 PM   #11
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Yep. A very sick feeling. Had planned just to go a short ways off the road and sit down (so I had nothing with me), but then I saw something and started wandering and before I knew it, it's getting dark and every tree looks the same.

Luckily had just enough cell service, so I called my grandfather, fired a rifle shot, and he came to get me. Hopefully I learned my lesson.
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Old August 30, 2012, 07:25 PM   #12
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You know you're lost when you pull your GOOD compass out because the one you keep pinned to your vest is not reading correctly and find that the GOOD compass is broke too.

And I knew it was broke because it was reading the same as the one pinned on my vest.
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Old August 30, 2012, 07:31 PM   #13
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funny thing about 8 years ago it was about 500 yards behind my house. The man who has land behind me has about 3000 acres and someone has 2000 acres and the man with 3000 has another 7000 and so on So theres about 10 miles of solid woods or small fields. Anyway I went fishing at a pond in the woods 1/4 mile from the house and coming home right at dark. got in some really thick woods and got turned around somehow and I guessed I walked in circles for an hour or so. Theres a dirt road about 1 mile away but hardly no one comes up or down at night. I sat there wandering if I could hear anything or not, no flashlight and beginning to wander to lay down and sleep or keep walking. Started walking again and finally ran into a fence about 400 yards to the house. If I ever do get totally lost again it wouldnt hurt my feelings to find a place to sleep though.
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Old August 30, 2012, 07:39 PM   #14
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I'm reminded of the ol' Indian asked the same question; he answered, "Never. But there have been a few occasions where my camp didn't know where I was." Anyone who hasn't been a bit disoriented simply hasn't been in deep woods during dark or rainy/overcast days without a compass.
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Old August 30, 2012, 07:49 PM   #15
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I'm usually not in woods big enough to get lost. Every now and then, once in a few years, I get the urge to go somewhere I haven't been and sometimes I make good on that. In those cases I HAVE gotten lost in the woods.

Typically it will be because I'd broken my main compass and then broken my spare compass too somehow. Of course where I get lost won't have phone service so I'm out of luck there too.

In the last 10 years I've been lost twice. Both times I was in the woods for at least a couple days. One of those times I was found after 4 days. I always pack as if I have to spend a few days in the woods whenever I go into any woods - just in case. As such they SRT found me sitting beside a fire next to a creek eating beef jerky. I'd brought a water filtration unit so I just went to the creek and drink after filtering the water. I'd managed to get REALLY lost but was none the worse for it - I actually kind of enjoyed it after the initial shock from realizing that I'd gotten lost lol. The other time I managed to find my way to a road and found out I was only 2 miles from my car. That took 2 days of hiking toward the sunset, crossing a couple of rivers and circumventing a small lake. All to find myself 2 miles down the road from where I'd parked! D'oh!
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Old August 30, 2012, 08:15 PM   #16
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I can understand how folks can get lost in rolling country where there is lots of timber and thick brush. I've hunted in the river bottom swamp along the Appalachicola, below Blountstown, Florida. I'd hate to get caught in that, after dark. It can be confusing during the day.

Hunters in the south Texas brush country can get lost on a cloudy day. Fairly featureless, with lots of brush eight to twelve feet high. Thick clouds and they can't tell direction by the sun.

I've been off-course a time or three, but never been lost. For all that my playground country, these last forty or so years, is some 60,000 acres, there are a fair number of landmark mountains--although every now and then I've run across some idjit who hasn't got it figured out.
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Old August 30, 2012, 08:34 PM   #17
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Easy to get lost in the ocean too.

After posting my Valdez goat hunting trip I found the picture of that boat and the area we were hunting.

Imagine that area in pitch dark. Besides not knowing the twist and turns of the bay, there are a lot of rocks to run into.

AL LA the Exxon Valdez.

Especially an infantry who knows nothing about boats.

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USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
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Old August 30, 2012, 08:51 PM   #18
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Once in a horrible blizzard about 2 miles from the dam at Flaming Gorge.
Got over two feet of snow in about three hours.
When I realized i was turned around because I could no longer see my landmarks, I stood still and listened for about twenty minutes. Finally heard a snow plow on the highway about a mile away.
Turns out I was heading in the right direction, but it was snowing so heavy that it was like having vertigo, I came out on the highway about 200 yards from camp.
Before that I never understood how someone could get lost, "you just go back how you came duh", I have a whole different view on it now, I knew where I was, I just didn't really know how to get back from there.
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Old August 30, 2012, 09:17 PM   #19
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If you pull my address up on maps on the internet. You can see my road and a couple of houses nearby but cant even see my house because all of the trees. You can see a shed in the yard but you see miles and miles of woods or fields. Its hilly terrain here but even at that at dark, hardly no one goes to town. So the dirt road is two miles away and sometimes you can hear if someones going down it but you may have to wait 15-20 minutes and if its a quiet automobile youre still screwed. I do have a gps now but i dont take them mile walks like I use to do.And havent been out in the woods in the dark in years. The older I get the easier Im getting. I shoot most of my deer off the front porch now.
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Old August 30, 2012, 10:46 PM   #20
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Here in the TRUE south... only city slickers get "lost"... Us locals just get "turned around fer a spell" The "spell" may be minutes, hours or days but we ain't lost... just turned around....

Seriously, where I roam.... just don't follow instinct.... walk EAST or WEST ort whatever... DO NOT DEVIATE and you hit a paved road... Sooner or later....

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Old August 30, 2012, 11:21 PM   #21
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I've been temporarily misplaced in the past, in the flat scrubby country of outback Australia during summer. I actually new where I was, I was on Ramadel Cattle Station. Only problem was Ramadel covered several hundred thousand acres. Eventually found the truck 14 hours after I set out for a 1 hour walk.
These days carry GPS, Radio, compass & topographic map if hunting remote locations & have not been misplaced since carrying these items. I have had a false position displayed on my GPS, after falling in a creek & submerging the unit, but was able to confirm my position with map & compass.
I have a hunting buddy that we nicknamed "bang bang", cause every second time he comes out deer hunting with us in the mountains ,he gets lost & fires shots to get our attention.
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Old August 30, 2012, 11:36 PM   #22
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Confused a little. But never lost.
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Old August 31, 2012, 04:13 AM   #23
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Never lost in the woods, but I did take a very long walking tour of Shekou, China once without intending to. It may as well been the woods since no other life form I saw spoke my language and the buildings, like trees, all looked the same...
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Old August 31, 2012, 04:36 AM   #24
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I have, and it sucks.

Around here, it's simple to find your way out... follow gravity: Go down. Go down. Go down. (Follow the canyons)
Eventually, you'll hit a road, highway, camp, pipeline, river, stream, cabin, mining claim... something. If there's still no sign of help, follow the water or keep going down.

Florida wasn't so kind. Getting lost in the swamp is a terrible feeling. At the time, it was made much worse by the fact that I was driving and couldn't go back via the "road" I came in on, and the sun was going down...
That time, I got lucky, and found a 'jeep trail' intersection I recognized on my topo map.
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Old August 31, 2012, 05:07 AM   #25
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I was when I was a kid and I panicked. I was hunting on a 30,000 acre ranch near the Mexican border in a deer blind by myself and I was new to hunting alone. Truck and guide and my dad dropped me off and left me alone. Like I always do, I got bored and began exploring. Before I knew it it was getting dark and I was in thick brush lost wandering in circles. I panicked and just hauled butt through the thorns and cactus and stumbled out on to the road near my blind. I wandered all about 200 yards. Lol
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