worst lost in woods story

11:19 p.m. on April 29, 2012 (EDT)
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What is your worst lost in the woods story.?

11:27 p.m. on April 29, 2012 (EDT)
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I have never been lost in the woods. I got lost at the grocery store with my mom once.

11:56 p.m. on April 29, 2012 (EDT)
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That's no fun either.One time I was lost with 12 other people and 2 goats that someone else brought for some reason , No one brought a flashlight and it was pitch black in an Oregon dense forest, we were literally crawling up hill on our knees one after the other trying to find out way out. Well, 2-3 hours later we did.To all never go in the woods without a flashlight,LOL

12:35 a.m. on April 30, 2012 (EDT)
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tam1852 said:

That's no fun either.One time I was lost with 12 other people and 2 goats that someone else brought for some reason , No one brought a flashlight and it was pitch black in an Oregon dense forest, we were literally crawling up hill on our knees one after the other trying to find out way out. Well, 2-3 hours later we did.To all never go in the woods without a flashlight,LOL

Were they training them to be pack goats? Bet the I-phone has a flashight app. 

12:42 a.m. on April 30, 2012 (EDT)
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traveled the same 8 mile track, amongst a myriad of tracks, 3 times.

On the third time with still the same navigator, not me, I just started laughing as I recognized we were looping again.

we changed navigators

we got out


1:51 a.m. on April 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Oh this was 33 years ago, I didn't know the people my self I only knew one person there that is what was so weird because we all got lost together and with goats too.

Maybe this story is what inspired me to be a survivalist, LOL.

I won't go anywhere without a flashlight now.

2:10 a.m. on April 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Camp Guernsey in Wyoming, mid 1990's, land nav course which was supposed to take 1 1/2 hrs max. Ended up taking 5 hrs and many vertical feet gained and lost. There was supposed to be 5 legs and we would end up back where we started. Legs were maybe 3000 meters max. No gps allowed, map and compass using ten digit grid coordinates. Started out easy enough found first marker. Continued and found second marker, or so we thought (4 man fire team, I was lead). Went to third and fourth marker but now we've been out for over three hours. We saw a lone person about a klick from our position and thought it was Opfor guys messing with us so we headed into the trees. We advance to his position until within about 50 meters and we challenged him. He gave up easy enough and we did not recognize the person. Started talking to him and he was British! He had on fatigue pants and no shirt (suntanning)! We found out he was SAS and his unit was training there also. He said it was their last day and they would be returning to England. He said he was watching us before we spotted him and he figured we were Opfor from his unit. Said he spotted us about 1500 meters out. Well anyway, we showed him our map and we ended discovering a we were 6 miles from where we had begun. Turned out we found markers for a different course and the pace man's pace count was off. I didn't a catch the mistake early enough to make a correction. By the time we got back, we were out of water and the sun was setting. Pretty cool meeting the SAS guy though.

7:25 a.m. on April 30, 2012 (EDT)
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I never get lost because people are always telling me where to go.

10:22 a.m. on April 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Thats what was so crazy about my story we went to this placr for something and all these people were there and we all got lost because not one of us had a compass or flashlight! STUPID I know, lesson learned, YES! But, I was 17 or so then.

Almost all of us have one story. Glad it wasn't worse.

11:07 a.m. on April 30, 2012 (EDT)
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BigRed said:

I never get lost because people are always telling me where to go.

 aint that the truth

11:11 a.m. on April 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Bad weather caused us to head over the wrong pass in a ridgeline a couple of times, but soon realized when geographic features below didn't match expected terrain.  Also got disoriented a few times on moonless nights traveling cross country, but we just holed up for the night and waited for the sun so we could take correct bearings of terrain features.  But never actually lost.


12:57 p.m. on April 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Well, years back on the LHHT I decided to go off trail and hit the local ski lodge for a nice piping hot pie of greasy greatness(pizza.) 

After gorging myself it was time to get back on the trail so I figured the least amount of time would be to walk the road back to the trail.

Well this most certainly would have been the case but instead of making a left at the main entrance I made a right. The snow was blowing sideways and the sun was dropping. I had my headlamp on red strobe so I wouldn't get pegged by a car.

I walked about 6 maybe 7 miles on the road before I realized something was up. I saw a trailer with porch light on so I went over to ask the owner where I was.

A gentleman answered the door and was like "ya should have made a left." I responded with "well, that sounds about my luck." He grinned then asked me what I was doing up here in this weather. I kinda thought the pack was a dead give away but I told him backpacking. 

He pretty much thought I was crazy being temps were already in the negatives.

Really nice guy though. 

So off I went back down the road retracing my footsteps until I passed a familiar landmark and got back on the trail. 

I hiked up the ridge until I got to an exposed area and set camp at 1am in the morning. 

Next time I will make sure I make a left. :)

1:36 p.m. on April 30, 2012 (EDT)
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I have never been really and truly lost, though temporarily disoriented for a few minutes. Couple stories, though:

First time was when I was 4 or 5 years old (I remember some of it, with most of the details coming from my father's diary and the story being repeated many times by other people who were involved). We were living in Tegucigalpa. My father was working with InterAmerican Affairs (State Department). I decided one day that I was going to my father's office. My mother wanted to send one of the servant girls (12 year old - this was when every household had a maid and cook - even the cook had a maid at her house!). I refused, and when I sent out, the girl was sent to follow me. I spotted her and proceeded to ditch her. After wandering around for a while in as direct a line as the narrow winding streets allowed, I found myself in the Plaza de Armas, so marched up to a policeman and demanded "Take me to my father's office!", except in perfect Castellano (the version of Spanish that corresponds to Parisian French - what was taught in the schools that all the Consulate kids went to). The policeman took this little blonde, blue-eyed kid to the main station (which was right on the plaza). By then, the consulate and police had been alerted. So my father walked over to find me in the armory, sitting on a table with a machine gun, swinging it around going "ratatatatat" (unloaded, of course).

There was one time in the Sierra, climbing in the Palisades, that I really felt disoriented and confused. I had headed for a small tarn above Sam Mack Meadows that a friend had recommended as a good campsite. To get there, you have to scramble up a wall at the NW corner of the meadow. On getting to the top of the wall, I knew I was within a couple hundred meters of the tarn, but could not see it. I carefully checked my map and confirmed my location, spending about 15-20 minutes checking and rechecking. I finally decided to climb up on this granite outcropping, shaped roughly like a fin. When I got on top of it and walked along it, I finally spotted the tarn, about 20 feet below my feet, right where it should be. This is one of those problems with maps - with a contour interval of 40 feet, the fin did not show on the map, yet was between me and the tarn so that I could not see it.

I have also run across situations where the map is clearly wrong, sometimes apparently a product of the cartographer's imagination. There is an infamous case in the Dardenelles area of the Sierra where the side canyons coming off a major drainage are mislabelled with a shift of all the labels downstream by one gully (mentioned in several of the High Sierra guidebooks). The quads for the area were corrected in the next printing. I found a case on a 30 minute quad back in the 1960s (the 15 min quads were just coming out and the one for the area had not yet been issued) when we got on top of a peak. We knew we were on the right peak, because the register had the right name (there used to be metal boxes on the peaks, bolted solidly to the rock). Looking to the north, west, and south, everything matched. But to the northeast, there was a ridge indicated on the map, where there was actually a gully. The ridge was missing on the 15 min quad that came out about a year later (I know! There was a glacier that formed, sculpted the ridge into a canyon, and then quickly melted!).

A friend of mine has near-photographic memory for maps. But one time, we were on a backpack out of the Middle Fork of the Kings River headed for the Gorge of Despair. We got to a trail fork, where we were supposed to continue straight to a later trail fork to turn right. He insisted this was the right turn, getting insistent enough (despite my pointing out on the map where we were) that I said ok, but let's keep the map in hand and identify landmarks. We got about a half mile along the wrong trail before he relented and agreed that the landmarks and compass bearing indicated this was the wrong trail.

Then there was the guy who came up to the group of Boy Scouts I was escorting on a 3-day training hike in the Crown Valley area. We had stopped for a water break and lunch at Geraldine Lakes, when this guy walked up. It turned out that he had been wandering lost for 3 days. He had gotten separated from his group, who were headed for Spanish Lakes (which happened to be our destination for the night). He had no food with him (others in the group had the food) and no water, except for 3 cans of Coke, which he had long since drunk. He had been drinking from the lakes and streams and was worried about the water, not having anything to treat it - well, better to drink the water and deal with the giardia later than to die of dehydration. He also lacked map and compass. We had him follow us to Spanish Lakes. When we got there, we found that his companions were beginning to think about notifying the rangers. Nice folks! A few years later, I had another scout group doing a similar training hike in the same area. When we got to Spanish Lakes (last campsite on the 3-day loop), the same guy walked up to us, this time with a woman in tow. Turns out he had spent a lot of his lost time thinking about this woman, and had married her when he got back to the city. They had been returning to Spanish Lakes each year to commemorate the decision to get married - now with map, compass, food, and water treatment supplies. By the way, this is the same area that Jim S (who used to be a regular on Trailspace) and I did our infamous Luxury Ultralight Backpack a number of years ago, before UL was all the rage.

3:07 p.m. on April 30, 2012 (EDT)
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tam1852 said:

What is your worst lost in the woods story.?

 Mine was funny. I started to walk and tried to locate a GR (Big trail in english) somewhere in france. I had a map and a compass. The only think i needed to do is to go est and follow a small trail.

All seems well till i ended up in the middle of nowhere. There were no trail anymore. So i decided with my friends to go est. But after half an our no trace of the GR. So we decided to use the GPS. The GPS told us to go south. So with the compass and the GPS we went south. And after 30minutes we found our starting point. So we walked 3 or for hours going only est south and a from time to time north and we ended up right up north of our starting location. 

That was hilarious. We finally managed to find the GR without using the compass nor the GPS, just using our instinct. The following day we let the map and the GPS inside our backpack. And we just use the compass to give a rough estimation of where we needed to go and it was perfect.

3:18 p.m. on April 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Wasn't me, but the president of a local outdoor club once got a whole group lost on a mountain trail after they took a wrong turn.

It turned out she didn't have a map or compass (and didn't know how to use them anyway). The hikes was supposed to be 4 hrs long. They wandered around for 11 hours before finding their way down in the dark by the light of a single cell phone - she didn't have a flashlight, either.

4:07 p.m. on April 30, 2012 (EDT)
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It can happen to us all one time or the other, yeah a left and with me a compass and flashlight. 

Is it approriate to laugh,lol?

Were not following her LOL...

5:27 p.m. on April 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Mount Equinox, Manchester Vermont, early 1990's, late October.  If you are familiar, this is the small mountain, 3800 feet roughly, overlooking a decent-sized town.  had a working hotel on the summit at one point, but by the early 90's, the hotel had fallen into disrepair and had been abandoned.  there is a paved road to the summit, 'skyline drive,' so it's hard to feel very far from civilization.  still, it's a nice medium-length hike up; the trail departs through what used to be a small school.  I was hiking with one of my best friends from college and our respective girl friends at the time.  (i have been married to that 'girl friend' for nearly fifteen years now; my friend is happily married to someone else). 

We got a late start and ended up getting turned around while we were walking a trail along the summit ridge.  saw an ATV with a few gun cases lashed  to the rear storage rack; i think that's turkey hunting season in Vermont.  For about ten minutes, we left the trail and started down what we thought was the route back to civilization, what we men folk believed was a good short cut.  we had a map but no compass.  about ten minutes after we left the trail, with the sun setting, my future wife started to cry and voiced her fear about getting lost in the woods or shot by hunters.  (this was well before Dick Cheney blasted his own hunting partner).   we reluctantly returned to the trail, retraced, and found where we had gone off-route.  we descended in the dark aided by a headlamp and a flashlight.  it turned out my wife's sense of direction was spot-on and that our off-trail route was 180 degrees in the wrong direction, headed AWAY from civilization. 

as a result, i always carry a headlamp and compass, and I never doubt my wife's sense of direction. 



12:03 a.m. on May 1, 2012 (EDT)
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We should vote here who has the best lost in the woods story?

9:33 a.m. on May 1, 2012 (EDT)
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sorry I was mixing everyone up by not knowing how to post on here.

4:56 p.m. on May 8, 2012 (EDT)
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i was 9 on a family trip to the white mts.NH,timing chain on 70 buick let go,luckily got into rest area below mt lafayette.got sick of waiting for tow truck decided to go UP.route 93 was right there,how much trouble could i get in?the incentive to climb may be genetic or inherited,either way it happened.found a trailhead conveniently at the rest area parking lot,decided to go for a walk.up,up,up gotta get to the top,come back down,fine.got to the top(it had to have been late afternoon in the summer)70 degrees,still didn't need a coat.then the adrenaline crash,I MADE IT TO THE TOP.now i have to go down,no adrenaline till the realization of cold and dark.adults have the common sense to follow a trail down a mountain,and i did at 9 but there was a sense of urgency to get back to the rest area on 93,so i started bushwacking in a panic down the mountain(worst thing to ever do)i survived some awesome falls and downed trees and rocks.i felt lucky to get back in one piece.the cops and forest service were waiting for me.

5:25 p.m. on May 8, 2012 (EDT)
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callahan,a lot of people tell me where to go and i tell them"have a weenie"and then they "have my weeenie"it's the way to go.camping and weeenies hand in hand.i prefer the pork and beef,no poultry!

5:28 p.m. on May 8, 2012 (EDT)
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now im hungry

10:09 p.m. on May 8, 2012 (EDT)
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unk you got lucky bushwhacking around lafayette. There's some gnarly falls waiting for you on some of those ledges that wouldn't have been so friendly had you hit those ones by accident...

The only time I've been semi-lost was during a winter hike in the Whites with a friend who had strained something in both of his legs right as we arrived at the summit of Pierce. So we headed down after some warm coco and going down seemed to be slightly easier on his legs then going up was. We had been traveling for about an hour when I checked my pedometer and compared to the map, only to realize we by passed the trail completely and were following a packed out "trail" that was actually from run off water that had frozen and then covered with a lot of snow, which was why it was solid. It wasn't packed at all. I had paid too much attention to his moans and groans as we walked and missed a clear turn in the trail.

We had to hike back up a few hundred feet, with my friend in agony, find the trail and hump out to the car.

9:43 p.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
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some funny stories here

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