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John's Journal... Entry 113, Day 3


How To Find Your Way Out Of The Woods?

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Probably every outdoorsman who has spent hours hunting in unfamiliar places has at some time in his life been lost in the woods. To enable you to navigate more effectively and safely through deer country and to get into these remote locations where big bucks stay, the Night Hawk internet team interviewed some of the nation's leading woods navigators and survivalists.

John Street, president of Woods Walker, Inc., is a nationally known survival expert whose company made the original space blanket. Patrick McHugh is the general manager of Outdoor Safety Products Division of MPI Outdoor Safety. A woodsman and outdoor safety expert, McHugh and his company have designed products not only to prevent you from getting lost, but also to aid you in the event that you do become lost. Al Kavalauskas is a veteran woodsman, an expert navigator and a well-known outdoorsman. Bill Wildprett is division manager of the Silva Company, which also makes and sells compasses worldwide.

Click to enlargeEven if you have a map and a compass with you, if you don't know where you are or how you've entered the woods, you'll have a difficult time finding your way out of the woods -- unless you can locate a landmark on your map, go to that landmark and then begin to figure your way out of the woods. "Without a map and compass, one of the best ways to get out of deer country is to follow some type of drainage like a creek, a stream, or a river until it intersects a road or a path," Kavalauskas mentions.

Click to enlargeStreet advises that a hunter only has to make one of two decisions if he is going to get out of deer country once he accepts the fact he is lost. "If you have a compass, you can choose any direction and try to walk a straight line that hopefully will take you to an area you are familiar with or to some type of access road, fire lane, or path," Street says. "If you don't have a compass, you have to prepare to make yourself as visible as you can. Then you will be found soon. Smoke is one of the most visible signals a hunter can utilize to let searchers know where he is located. There are basically two types of smoke: white smoke and dark smoke. If you are lost in snow country, use dark smoke. If you are lost in heavily timbered country with no snow, light smoke is a better choice. The wood you choose to build your fire determines the kind of smoke you will produce. Wood and plants with plenty of water in them and green leaves generally produce white smoke. To have dark smoke, burn wood with more resign in it, such as pine. Go to an open area, build a huge fire, and concentrate as much smoke as you can in that region."





Check back each day this week for more about Lost In Deer Country...

Day 1 - Pre-Trip Planning
Day 2 - What To Do If You Become Lost
Day 3 - How To Find Your Way Out Of The Woods?
Day 4 - Equipment For When You Become Lost
Day 5 - Important Survival Information

John's Journal