When lost in a survival situation, finding your way in the woods can be difficult without the required equipment. Expert Legendary Explorer, Malcom from Survival Know How has an acronym that can help anyone that finds themselves lost in the woods. The acronym spells: S.T.O.P. and will help you calmly and safely find your way back. It can be the difference between life and death.
- S – The S in S.T.O.P. means Stop or Sit. Meaning, you should stop moving and talking and begin to soak in the situation that’s happening. Not moving will allow your heart rate to drop which will make you think more clearly.
- T – Think. Think about your surroundings and possible resources. Carefully try to remember how you got to where you are and what you have that can help the situation.
- O – Now it is time to Observe. Check your surroundings for any potential hazards. Also keep an eye out for good places to take shelter and make sure to check your physical well-being. Sometimes, especially in a survival situation, medical conditions or wounds on yourself can be overlooked because you are too occupied observing the surroundings.
- P – Plan. After you have calmly analyzed the situation, now it is time for you to come up with a plan. If it is getting close to sun down, you may consider beginning to ready your shelter and gather materials for the night. Trying to start readying your shelter at dark may prove troublesome, and it may put you in bad spot. If there is still plenty of daylight and you know the sun is beginning to set, you can follow the setting sun straight west (east if you walk in the opposite direction.) You should even come up with a specific time you will allow yourself to search before you revert to building a shelter for the night. The better and more specific the plan is, the better the chances of you finding your way out of the woods.