Unplanned Overnighter

You and/or your hiking party are lost, injured, delayed, or just too slow. You cannot get off the trail in time and it is getting dark. You’re stuck in the woods for the night.

  • Stop.  Sit down, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, calm down.
  • Think. Is there any reasonable way to avoid this. If not, then…
  • Assess and inventory what you have to work with. People/helpers, supplies, tools, food, water.
  • Develop a workable plan with who and what you have at hand. Attend to the priorities:
    • Health first. Stabilize any major medical concerns.
    • Shelter next. Is it cold? Will it rain? Howling wind?
    • Optional (fire) for both warmth, light and comfort.
    • Water can wait until morning.  You may be thirsty, but you can live for several days without water.
    • Food can wait even longer if necessary.
  • Establish communications. Use your cell phone if you can.
  • Signal your location to search and rescuers with a whistle, bright clothes, lights, fire and smoke, whatever makes you more visible and audible. Help them find YOU.
  • By morning, re-assess your plan on how to get out or get help.

Here’s how to make a basic Plan B Kit for that unexpected overnighter