Joined: 12 Mar 2005
I agree. Topo maps and a good mil spec marching compass are excellent tools to have along with the training to properly use them when out in the wide open areas in the mid west, west, or south. Heavy on the training IMO. A good loud whistle is a smart thing to carry as well. Unfortunately, most non-military folks now depend on electronic tools like cell phones and GPS devices. These devices work okay if they don't run down, but unfortunately, they always seem to do so at the worst possible times. Murphy works overtime here it seems.
But most folks I've found lost or very turned around have done so in local areas they think they are reasonably familiar with. I've helped my fair share of lost or turned around hunters and hikers find their way back out of the woods here in SE MA.
This has happened in some of the smaller WMAs around my area as well as in the generally bigger but not huge Hockamock swamp area. Most of these lost souls could have easily hiked out on their own if they'd simply remained calm and followed any of the numerous fire roads or well worn foot paths in and out without changing directions over and over. But almost every one of them had panicked and began wandering around willy nilly just hoping to get lucky. That's a damned poor way of doing it. That's why I've always remained calm and have used my noggin if I've gotten a bit turned around. Our brains are always our primary tool IMO.
I figure that if I'd need a topo map and a compass to find my way around any of these local areas, then perhaps I'd be better off staying home and hiding under my bed until hunting season is over.
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