9News covered a story yesterday about an Adelaide woman getting lost in bushland for three days. They managed to find her when a man was remotely checking the cameras to his vacation home and spotted her and her SOS sign. The woman went on a camping trip with her friends and, when she went for a short walk, she got lost.
In 2016, New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service came up with the “Think before you TREK” slogan in hopes of helping prevent people getting lost.
- T – Take enough water, food, equipment, and
first aid supplies.
- This will vary depending on your adventure but having a little extra food and water never hurts.
- R – Register your trip.
- The NSW NPWS site has a form that tells them you’ll be out there in the wildlife. I haven’t found one for Queensland yet, but notify someone of your trip, how long you’ll be, and who you’re going with.
- E – Emergency Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)
- It’s recommended you have one of these when going out to sea, but it’s also useful when hiking in bushland. It sends out a signal that can be detected by satellites as long as you’re in an open area.
- K – Keep to your planned route.
- Try not to got off the path if possible and try to meet the deadline you gave when informing someone about your trip.
THE U.S. Forest Service had it’s own acrynym in the event that you do get lost, however: S.T.O.P.
- S – Stop
- When you realize you’re lost, stop. Don’t move any further or you may get yourself more lost. And try to keep calm.
- T – Think
- How did you get to where you are? What landmarks should you see?
- O – Observe
- Get your compass and find your bearings. If you’re on a path, don’t leave it. It’s bound to take you somewhere people often go.
- P – Plan
- Come up with possible plans for your situation and act. If you’re not sure at all about what you’re doing, not moving is also a good plan. If you are tired, injured, or it’s night, it’s better to stay put.
They also gave a list of other helpful tips:
- Stop and rest when you’re tired.
- Don’t hike and eat at the same time.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Take care of small problems while they’re still small.
- Avoid hiking between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on hot days.
Our lost woman from Adelaide may have moved around a bit too much, but she made the right choice in putting out signals of her presence (her SOS signs). Try to stick to your plans but don’t panic if things go wrong.
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/safety/bushwalking-safety/think-before-you-trek
U.S. Forest Service: https://www.fs.fed.us/visit/know-before-you-go/if-you-get-lost