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Turning around.....could save your life.

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Unread 09-24-2008, 05:38 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Grand Junction, Colorado
Posts: 239
Turning around.....could save your life.

With hunting season just around the corner, I thought I'd pass on a little tip my dad taught me many years ago, back when I first started tagging along behind him in the woods.

I'm 54 years old, never even owned a compass until 8 or 9 years ago, and to this day I've never been lost while out in the woods. I've spent numerous days in all kinds of weather, in many different parts of the country - swamps, flatlands, rolling hills, mountains, and deserts. I've often times taken off either on foot or on a mule and covered many miles in search of new hunting grounds. Sometimes I'm out for only a day, sometimes I may be gone for 4 or 5 days. Most of the time I don't even bother with carrying a map, much less a compass. Not sure how many individuals I've come across in my lifetime, that were turned around and not sure where they were, usually wanting directions on how to find a certain trail or road back to their camp. Hopefully my little tip will help someone out in the future, and its one I think we should teach all of our kids. Its so simple most people probably would never think about it - its called turning around.

Thats it, no big deal, its not high tech, its not hard, its just common sense. Before heading out turn slowly around, all 360 degrees, and note where you're standing. Pick out landmarks and the lay of the land from where you are currently standing. Notice everything that could be of value, a hill, an old tall dead tree, a creek, an odd shaped boulder up on a hill, the position of the sun - these types of things. Then head out, but don't just head out never looking back from where you just came from. As your walking your constantly viewing new country and your mind will remember what it looks like, but only from the view you get heading in that specific direction. But you also need to turn around often and take a gander at what it looks like from the opposite direction and also off to both sides also. Depending on the terrain and how often it changes, you should be stopping and turning around and allowing the ol' brain to take in the view from the opposite direction. Because if you never do that, five miles down the trail when you decide to turn around and head back for the first time, its not going to look familiar. Make sense?

Take it from someone who's done this all his life, it works. Please teach this to your kids, and bring it up often to remind them, it very well could save their life someday. I make a game out of it with my two young sons, I'm always taking them out and purposely zig zagging, or cutting circles as we're covering country. Then I'll stop and ask them each to point in the direction the truck or camp is in. When I first started doing this, they didn't pay a whole lot of attention to where "they" were going, and sometimes they'd guess 180 degrees off. After all they were just following dear ol' dad, and surely he knew where he was at. The more we played the game, the better they got at it until now its pretty hard to get them turned around no matter how hard I try and confuse them. I'm not saying don't teach them how to use a compass or a map. What I am saying is teach them how to return to camp when they don't have one, because someday they may not have anything with them besides the gray matter between their ears.
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Unread 09-24-2008, 05:59 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,232
Re: Turning around.....could save your life.

Very good advice. My dad/grandad gave me very similar instructions. And to always pay attention to how the ground is sloping, since it should be sloping the other way on you way back out (Colorado type terrain).

If some is good and more is better, then too much is just right.

My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives
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Unread 09-24-2008, 10:14 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: West Central Idaho
Posts: 1,219
Re: Turning around.....could save your life.

The info you offered up is right on. I thought everyone did that (haha) I would add something similar to what you said about paying attention to your surroundings and that is donít necessarily look for things or objects as markers but remember the ones that catch your eye. I have spent weeks knocking around the back country of Idaho and trust me your teepee can get misplaced especially if you hunt late and get caught out in a white out. Taught my kids exactly the things you talk about and they are very confident in the back country no matter what the conditions are.

Very well said.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. Sir Winston Churchill.

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom. Einstein
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Unread 10-16-2008, 03:54 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: North East Ohio. Hunt OH. and PA.
Posts: 41
Re: Turning around.....could save your life.

Great advice! Same thing I do. I don't have kids yet, but I do the "which way to the truck" with my sister and cousin all the time. They are starting to catch on.
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Unread 10-23-2008, 08:37 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Back in the south -NW FL..
Posts: 1,160
Re: Turning around.....could save your life.

Good stuff Slymule!---thanks..
AIPAC for president !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Unread 10-24-2008, 07:02 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Sagauache County, Co...3170 sq miles, not a single stop light!
Posts: 699
Re: Turning around.....could save your life.

hey slymule....you have a note from me on your profile page....and a friend request....
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Unread 12-18-2008, 11:18 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Tn
Posts: 14
Re: Turning around.....could save your life.

My dad taught me the same way. I haven't been lost yet either, and I have hunted in alot of different states, with alot of varied terrain.
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