Jack Savage's Forest Journal: Getting lost in the woods the 'right way'
To get lost the "right way" while wandering the woods, concentrate on listening. Let the sounds of civilization fade to the background. A gurgling stream helps, but don't stop there. What else can you hear? Be still, close your eyes and feel what's in the air and inhale the scents. Get "lost" in your surroundings. (FOREST SOCIETY)
The wrong way can happen to almost anyone. An off-trail adventure can lead to confusion. Some folks compound the problem by setting out alone on a strenuous hike on an unfamiliar trail late in the day dressed in a T-shirt and flip-flops, carrying nothing more than a half-charged cell phone while leaving the trail map in the car.
Here's how in seven easy steps:
1. Find some woods. For some of us, that may mean a tract of 1,000 acres or more. For others, a tree-covered half-acre will do. Hardwoods, softwoods, mixed - whatever.
3. Close both eyes. Concentrate on listening. The scratch of a chipmunk, chatter of a squirrel. Fade any sounds of civilization - auto traffic, airplanes - to the background, and listen for what's going on right around you.
5. Inhale. Breathe deep. What can you smell? Imagine being an animal that depends on smell to find food or escape danger. Breathe deep again.
"Forest Journal" appears every other week in the New Hampshire Sunday News. Jack Savage is the editor of Forest Notes: New Hampshire's Conservation Magazine, published by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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