Re: Turning around.....could save your life.
Definitely being familiar with your surroundings and looking back and where you have come from is a must. I've been turned around coon hunting at night as a kid in our own pastures until the fog lifted enough to see tower lights or I got enough elevation to identify landmarks.
If you're going into unfamiliar territory Google Earth is a good tool too. I try to do some long range scouting this way and mark some key points on my map I take to the field. Also know how many ridges,creeks, etc you have crossed. Many places if you stay in the same canyon heading downstream will get you to a road eventually.