Four Things To Do
If Lost In The Woods

Women in her sixties wearing a green shirt, hiking in the forest
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29th, April 2024

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When hiking in the vast wilderness of Canada, it’s crucial to know what to do if you find yourself lost. One of the key strategies is making your presence known. This involves a combination of visual and auditory signals to attract attention and get help quickly.

Stay Put and Be Visible

Begin by staying put in one place once you realize you’re lost. It’s easier for rescuers to locate you if you’re not constantly on the move. Find an open area where you’re visible from the air and ground. Use brightly colored items or clothes to create a signal. This could be arranging items in a noticeable pattern or tying a colorful bandana to a tree.

Use Auditory Signals

In terms of auditory signals, shouting can help, but it uses a lot of energy and doesn’t carry far. Instead, use a whistle if you have one. Three short blasts on a whistle are universally recognized as a call for help.

Reflective Signalling

Another way to make your presence known is to use a mirror or any reflective object to signal aircraft or distant search parties. Reflect the sunlight in a sweeping motion to catch attention.

Create a Smoky Fire

In addition, create a smoky fire if it’s safe to do so. The smoke can be seen from a great distance and can lead rescuers to your location. You can add green branches or leaves to the fire to produce more smoke.


Remember, your goal is to make it as easy as possible for rescuers to find you. By making your presence known effectively, you increase your chances of being found and returned to safety.


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