What If You Get Lost?
Before you even go out to hunt for wild mushrooms let someone know your travel plans. Check out the website HikerAlert.com which is a web-based software program that will automatically send an alert email and text message to your emergency contact, if you don’t check in by your scheduled return time.
Since being out in the woods can have its hazards, do not hunt for wild mushrooms alone. It is best to have a buddy system. You can keep track of any other people that came with you, but always stay with a buddy. Buy and wear a search and rescue whistle. If you need to whistle for someone it is best to be in agreement that one call means “I am here, where are you?” and should be answered with one call. Two calls in quick succession means, “Come here.” Three calls in quick succession means, “I’m in trouble, come quickly.”
Also have an agreement with your friends to honk the car horn if you don’t return at the designated time, so that you will know which direction to travel. It is really easy to get turned around in the woods especially on cloudy days. Whistle back so that they know you heard them.
If you are someone that gets lost easily, consider buying and carrying a GPS. Of course, you will need to learn how to use it accurately. Mark the location of your car at each stop. Also consider having walkie-talkies for each group. If you are better at using a compass and map then have that with you.
When lost (if you can) get to the nearest road, the bigger the better, and stay there. Do not hike around. It is easier to find you if you stay put. If you have to spend the night outside stay near the road and stay dry. Build a fire if possible. It will keep you warm and be a signal as well. Make a mat of branches and boughs so you don’t have to lie on the ground. This is why you should have brought a back-pack with you that has survival items in it: extra food, water, extra warm cloths and rain gear, etc. Use you cell phone if you have coverage and make sure that you have the phone numbers of the people you came with so you can let them know what is happening.