Friday, April 19, 2013

How to not get lost on a day hike with kids

Avoid having to stay overnight in the wilds by not getting lost.
“We’re not lost, we’re just misplaced.” – The Man with the Yellow Hat, “Curious George”

You can avoid getting lost simply by staying on the trail. Check your map frequently to make sure you’re on the right trail. Keep in mind specific landmarks that you will see, and upon coming to them, look at the map to note your location and progress. Always check your map when coming to forks or adjoining trails.

Don’t take shortcuts because they usually aren’t. The reason a trail seems to take the long way around is because the “short” way would go through a swamp or across a steep slope. If you take a shortcut, you’ll often have to take a detour, and that almost guarantees you’ll get lost.

Read more about day hiking with children in my Hikes with Tykes guidebooks.