Key principles to follow when you are lost in the jungle

By Derik Ng –


As the popularity of outdoor adventure rises over the years, many new outdoorists have been venturing into the outdoors to explore and experience the jungle. However, many people have learned to be safe from bad experiences and had gotten lost in the Malaysian jungle over the past. In the year 2019, the star reported a sum of 252 missing cases were filed in the Malaysian jungle. So, what should you do when you are lost?

The basic principles of surviving in the jungle when you are lost are to follow the rules of STOP. (Acronym for STOP, THINK, OBSERVE AND PLAN &ACT)


When you realize that you are lost or when you are unsure if you are on the right track, be sure to stop to assess the severity of your situation. By understanding the severity of your situation, you would be able to make a game plan according to the severity of the situation rather than proceeding into trouble. Stopping also allows you to calm down, relax and gather yourself to make the best possible choice. Remember, being panic is the last thing you want to do in your situation.


Try to think and recall clues that could get you back on track and whether if rescue will come to you once the outside world has noticed that you have been missing. This is when you want to recall familiar tracks that brought you to your situation, your general direction of travel, resources, and inventory. Also, use this time to think about what choices you have and what your next possible move should be.


While being in a static position, observe your environment and study it. Your choices made would be heavily affected by the observation and judgment made during this time. Observe things such as the weather, terrain, wildlife tracks, sounds, time, trash, trail markers, smell, and the position of the sun. Gathering such data through your observation allows you to make good decisions that will minimize risks that will prevent you from getting injured or going in deeper into the jungle.


Once you have made a rational choice to escape from your situation, prepare a game plan that will most likely save you. Whether it is static or dynamic survival, play the devil’s advocate to question yourself and ask again if it is the right choice to make. Be sure to always have a second plan or plan B in case if your original plan does not work out. Remember that you should never decide on a plan or act if you are not calm.


Added bonus

The more survival skills and equipment you have would then provide you with more options to make during an event like this. As starters, basic knowledge such as building a temporary shelter, starting a fire, water sourcing and treatment, navigation, and survival rescue signal are crucial core skills to learn to keep yourself safe from danger.

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