BASIC Rules For Survival 


                                                       THE FIRST AND MOST FUNDAMENAL RULE:

                                                           DO NOT HIKE, BIKE OR TRAIL RIDE ALONE !!!  

If You Do Adventure Out Alone ..... Hunters etc .

Be sure to let others know where you are going and when you are due back




Deep woods can be disorienting and inhospitable.

Your primary goal if you're lost -- don't panic!

Getting lost in the woods can be a traumatic, frightening and dangerous experience. Once you realize you are lost, your primary goal should be to get found. You won't be able to survive indefinitely without supplies or tools, but you can take a few simple steps to increase the chances that someone will find you soon, and to increase the chances that you will survive until that moment arrives. By following the Following BASIC  Rules.




REMEMBER . . . .

is for "Stop, Sit Down & Stay Put"

      This is the first and most important step in staying calm and safe.

       This is a great time to start signaling for assistance.  The sound of a whistle 

       will travel much further than your voice. 

T  is for "Think

     Ask yourself the most important questions, such as

         *  "How did I get here?"

         *  "How much time is left before it gets dark?"

         *  "What do I need to make a shelter to stay warm & dry?"

is for "Observe"

      Try to identify landmarks, such as hills, etc that can help you figure out your 

      position.  Listen to sounds, like traffic, running water, etc.

      Ask yourself the most likely place to take shelter.

P  is for "Plan"

     Plan what you need to do to stay safe until you are found.

RULE  #1  

 If with a Family Member, Friend or Pet …. Do Not Separate 


Searcher can focus on one search instead of multiple searches. Also, for body heat, cuddling up to a large dog or friend will help keep your warm. If with a dog, do not let it run loose, it can help you more by staying close and providing heat, companionship and protection. 

AND If your dog or horse wonders off, do not go looking for it. 

However there may be circumstances where you might get lost when you are alone.

…stay together. For body heat & Easier to find.




RULE  #2  

STOP! Stay Where You Are

                               .... Do Not Wander any further

If you wander - We Can not Find You.

One reason is that people looking for you move very slowly while searching for clues. If you are out front running along, we won't be able to catch up. 

Another reason for not wandering is the possibility of falling and hurting yourself while travelling. Being lost and hurt could be tragic.

Lost humans tend to wander in large circles, so moving aimlessly will only expend energy and make it harder for searchers to find you. 

STAY PUT, It will make it much easier for people to find you.

If you wander, we may not be able to find you




RULE  #3  

Keep Warm & Dry

This rule means to keep warm with the clothes you are wearing. NEVER take any clothing off.. Cover up all the exposed skin you can. If you are wearing a sweater or jacket, zip it up. Remember the temperatures drop after the sun goes down.

Zip up your jacket, wear your hood or hat

 If raining, put on a poncho or your garbage bag.

Over 70% of all body heat escapes through your head. Wear a hat! (Don’t use your clothing for leaving a trail)

If you are with others, you can try to cuddle together to keep each other warm. Keep yourself in the fetal position to stay the warmest.




RULE  #4  

Find A Safe Waiting Place  .... Not A Hiding Place


 A cozy waiting place means, a warm place out of the wind and rain but not a place where Searchers can not see you. Under a large tree is a good place.

Remember, we can not find you if you hide. 

If you are not visible, MAKE SURE you put out a marker, so searchers will see it and find you.



RULE  #5  Do Not Lie or Sit On The Bare Ground , 

. . . .  except for rule #7


Laying on the cold ground for a very short period of time, attracting attention, is OK. Being in direct contact with the ground for any length of time is dangerous. The cold ground can rob precious body heat from you.

Build a mattress using available materials such as branches, moss, leaves, etc. This mattress should be as thick as the mattress you sleep on at home! After the mattress is completed, gather the same amount or more, of the same material and use it for the blankets. This is called a survival bed.




RULE  #6

Put Out Something Bright

              ... So searchers can find you

Put out something bright or make something to tell Searchers where you are. Make a flag using what you have. But Do Not take off any clothing to do so. Some suggestions are colored bandana, jewelry, watch, paper, hair ribbons, strips from a white garbage bag, check your pockets. Spell the word "HELP" or "SOS" or an arrow on the ground using rocks and sticks. Do NOT make a fire !!


            Brightly Colored Bandana

                  Surveyors Ribbon


RULE  #7

Look Bigger For Searchers


If possible, your waiting place should be near an open space. When you hear someone coming, move to the middle of the clearing and call out /yell. 

DO NOT run in the direction of the noise. STAY PUT

If you hear an aircraft, wave your arms to look bigger and then lie down so the pilot has a bigger target to look at and wave your arms and legs, like making a snow angel. Stand up immediately after the aircraft has passed, as the ground can be very cold and damp.



RULE  #8 

Do Not Eat Anything You're Unsure Of

             .... it could make you sick

It's tempting to eat anything that looks edible in the woods if you are lost. However, it's not safe to eat any mushrooms, berries or wild plants. You're much better off being hungry than being poisoned. You are in the woods without anybody to take care of you. You can go without food for a long time, but you cannot go without water.

Stay Hydrated ... drink water

You must have drinking water to survive, but be careful where you get it from. Do Not go near any large bodies of water. Instead, drink from a water supply that is smaller than you are, so you can not fall in. Another source of water can be found on leaves in the form of dew



 RULE  #9  Be Heard, Make Noise

             ..... Blow a whistle, yell

A good rule is Answer a Noise with a Noise. If you hear a noise in the woods, make a noise back. If it is an animal it will run away, if it is a Searcher then you will be found.

Blow a whistle and yell ever so often in case there are searchers nearby. Blowing a whistle can be heard farther distance and will not tire you out as quickly.


Three blasts at regular intervals is the standard distress signal. 


RULE  #10  Do  Not Panic or Be Scared

  • Try to focus your thoughts and think before you do anything. Observe your surroundings and keep your senses alert.
  • Help yourself keep calm by singing, whistling or even telling yourself jokes or stories. Do anything it takes to make yourself feel better. Try using your imagination to pretend you are somewhere else that you really enjoy.



 Wild Animals

You usually do not have to worry about wild animals. They do not like to be near people. If they hear or smell you, they will usually run away.



Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark

It is the same place with the same things as when it was daylight.


Before it get dark, look around and take a good look at your surroundings, Look at the tall trees, bushes etc.

They do look different and can look scary in the dark.

When the wind blows, limbs can rub each other and make scary sounds, bushes rattle etc.





There is no punishment for being lost - Children have been known to hide or run away from searchers in fear of punishment. Children should not have any fear of returning home. 

REMEMBER Mom and Dad, or whoever is looking for you are going to be very happy to see you again. 

There will be NO punishment














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