We all have that friend. You know, the one that gets lost on nearly every adventure, no matter how well marked the trails may be. They’re the friend we like to have around for the entertainment [they’re stories are incredible] but the friend we never fully trust with trip planning [self preservation, ftw]. We laugh at them [with them?] while harboring this sheer amazement at their ability to get lost, literally everywhere.
On the surface, this seems like a shortcoming, especially when it comes to credibility + survival. But deep down inside, we’re all a little jealous of their ability to get so engrossed in the moment they forget about where they’re going. Just for fun, we’ve done a little research for you. Here are a few tips on how you can live a life as exciting at their while still surviving to tell us all about it…
Shut Down Yo’ Phone, Bro!
We’ve talked about this before…but, seriously. Ditch your phone! If you’re not actively using it to be rescued you really don’t need it while you’re out in the wilderness. Sure, it’s nice for photos but those aren’t *necessary*. Forget about IG double taps + Snapchat stories. Let your mind wander + focus on taking mental pictures in the moment rather than framing the perfect shot you may never actually share online. It’s simple, power down + embrace a digital-less trek just because you can!
Ignore Your Watch
On one of your upcoming trips give yourself the freedom to roam without any time or distance constraints. Hike, run or ride until you’ve had enough then head back home. Whether you’ve made it 10 minutes, 10 miles or 10 peaks…forget about what your watch is telling you about the time you’ve been out there, the miles you’ve covered or the vert you’ve gained. A watching spitting out stats is just one more thing that will tug you away from the beauty of the moment. Just be sure to pack a headlamp, you’d be surprised by how much stamina your body has when you give it the chance + no one wants to get caught on the trails in the dark!
Imagine you’re out on a hike to a mountain top but along the trail you see a sign that point off the main trail to a waterfall. If a waterfall tickles your fancy in the moment, change up your route. Maybe it’s a short out/back + you’ll be back on the original route within the hour. Maybe it’s a long trek that’ll keep you away from your intended summit. Eh, either way, you saw a chance to see the world + you grabbed it by the trail sign. If you keep your wits about you, you’ll survive without any true “uh, so I was lost for hours” stories to tell + it’ll all be worth it.
Be Prepared…Pack Extra “Essentials”
The most successful [read: still alive + in one piece] “always lost” friends have one thing in common — they pack the essentials + they’re resourceful. Should any of the previously suggested tactics truly get you lost, you’ll want to be prepared. This includes packing every one of the 10 essentials + a few extras, focusing on where you’ll be + how long you anticipate being out wandering. If you’ll be dealing with summer heat, pack extra water + sun protection. When you’re head up a mountain, bring layers + wind gear for the summit. If you’re trekking into the night, be prepared to spend the night away from civilization. You may not need any of these extra items, but if you do you’ll be exceptionally glad to have them.
We’d probably have to do all of these things, forget how to use a map/compass + be in an area we’ve never seen before to get even close to as lost our wandering friend is known for. Quite frankly, that’s probably a good thing simply because it’ll ensure we stay alive for all future adventures. Don’t let that deter you from giving them a try + taking a chance to get “lost in the moment”.
VERY IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Every single one of these suggestions needs to be taken as just that…suggestions. Please consider your own comfort level, skill sets + safety before heading out on any adventure. Always, always, always pack the 10 essentials + know how to properly use each item you pack. If you’re new the this, be sure to do your adventurous experimenting with someone you trust, in an area you’re comfortable wit, just in case anything goes awry. We know some of these suggestions may play with the gray lines around what you’ve learned about wilderness wandering. We trust you’ll make the best choice for yourself. Whatever you do, happy exploring + stay safe!