It is very apparent in today’s society that if there is no wireless signal available, some people might just stay lost forever. As simple as it may sound, just remembering the landscape around you could make the difference between staying lost and feeling confident that you’ll get back home on your ATV or SXS. With this in mind, here are some landmark-building tips to help those that are directionally challenged to get back home or to camp safely.
Photograph by Natalie Krebs
1. Piles of rocks
Known by the more technical term, “cairns,” these piles of rock can indicate trailheads or trail direction. These can also be used to mark cautionary areas in the trail system. This seems like an incredibly silly way to mark a trail, but if you hunt or ride in a very large area with no trail markers these small stones can help you remember your way around. Building a cairn is easy: stack stones in a system set forth by you, the builder, so you know what your pattern means. Even laying these out in an obvious place just off trail in the shape of an arrow would be a good start.
2. Logs or branches
Using large branches or downed trees as landmarks is something that could help you become more familiar with your direction. Positioning these dead branches or trees in the direction of home base would be a great way to keep you from getting lost on a large piece of hunting land. They can also be used to line trails or cut off a misleading side trail.
3. Construction ribbon
These small florescent rolls of ribbon can be a lifesaver and are easily stored in the glove box or storage on any machine. Small flashes of color in the woods are easily identifiable. Place short, 6-inch long pieces at key points on the trail system to find your way back to the stand or camp.