If You Get Lost…..

Getting lost isn’t very likely, but it can happen.

If You Get Off The Trail

If you have planned your route with the aid of a current copy of this book (and ideally a GPS with extra batteries), there is little likelihood of your straying from the Trail, but care must still be exercised. Remember that this is northern Ontario, and the seriousness of getting lost must not be underestimated.

STOP (There is no value in getting further lost!)

DON’T PANIC–SIT DOWN, calm down! Where did you see the last blaze? Look all around. Check the map. Are there any features of the landscape you can recognize on the map? If you can’t find the Trail within a few paces, STOP AGAIN (no use in getting in deeper!).

Assess your situation. What do you have in the way of equipment? Map? Compass? Knife? Waterproof Matches? More than one lost person has panicked and misplaced all of his ‘survival gear’.

Unless you are absolutely sure of the way out, STAY PUT! Assess the location of the Trail in relation to main topographic features and highways, railways, or power corridors? If you build a fire, first clear away all surface organic matter down to bare mineral soil. Build a small fire. Dead lower branches from living trees make good fuel.
If you decide that you are really lost, DON’T PANIC! The trees that seem to be closing in on you are your best friends. They will supply shelter, fuel, and sometimes food until you are rescued.


Gather dead dry wood and build three fires in a triangle. (Three fires or three of anything is a distress signal.) Add green boughs to pour smoke into the sky. In travelled areas, or near regular air routes, this is bound to attract attention, and rescue. Keep plenty of dry wood on hand in case of rain.


Rabbits or porcupines may be close by. A shoe-lace could be used as an emergency snare, and the slow-moving porcupine dispatched with a stick. Early in the season, look in bird’s nests for edible eggs. In most areas, you can find clams, crayfish, frogs, or snails. Cook your game on a spit or on a flat piece of rock.


Berries, the seeds in cones, nuts and edible mushrooms may be available. Many green plants, roots and most new shoots on trees are good to eat, raw or cooked. CAUTION: Some berries, plants and fungi are poisonous. Stick to items you know to be safe.


If you get lost, STOP and SIT DOWN!

If you are overdue, and have reason to believe you may be the object of a search, please inform appropriate persons of your safe arrival immediately upon returning.