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This was an interesting read, Bill. I have something share with you that has always helped me, to the point that I have never been lost. When I was a little kid, I was taught that the single most critical lesson to learn is not to panic. As you illustrate so well, it can be a fight to avoid panic so tools that help avoid that are vital. One thing that was pounded home to me will seem silly, but it actually works and it allows me to roam the woods and mountains without fear of getting lost. Other things, such as knowing North, that water flows downhill and eventually you'll reach a road if you go downhill (from knowing the area at least somewhat), little survival tricks like that, also help, but the critical key is to avoid panic. This is the trick I learned: I am never lost, I always know where I am, period. How? Simple. I'm right here. It's truly as simple as that. My house might be lost, or my car, or my camp, but I'm not lost, I'm right here. Since I know where I am, what's the point of panic? I will glady admit that it's not something that can be learned in 5 minutes, but it's definitely more an attitude than anything else. Hopefully, this little tip will help avoid panic if you ever need it: just remember you're right where you are, so you can't be lost.

Hi Bill and others,

Bill thanks for sharing your thoughts and great comments.

When you talk about roaming the woods and mountains you touched on one of my passions.

Before I went blind I used to go rock climbing, mountain bike riding and backpacking when I had time.
I sure know what you mean about finding your way by following creeks and streams.

I relied on this method once when I was cross country backpacking with a friend when I had eyesight. I had parked my car on a road that followed the top of the mountain range. We followed a few trails until we got to a waterfall. We then climbed over the falls and traversed down the very steep mountain until the stream that went over the falls met up with another stream that went uphill towards the south and backwards slightly from where we had just came from. Since we had already hiked for some time and this spot was very nice we camped the night at this location. The following day we followed the stream uphill in the general direction of the ridge I had parked my car on. We had to climb up some extremely steep rock faces and make our way through very thick brush; but we eventually made it back to the road just about one mile or so south of where I had parked the car. A very fun and strenuous walk for sure. I hope to be able to go on backpacking trips like that one again without eyesight.

I like your comment about you are right where you are, so you can’t get lost for long; in most cases. I think if you held that thought in your mind it would help you to stay calm and not panic.

Does anyone else have any other tips to help us travel? Any other ideas to stay calm and not panic when traveling in unfamiliar areas; or if we happen to get lost? Any other traveling stories that you want to share that might help us.
We all look forward to hearing from you.

Bill Tipton
Contributing Author
Global Dialogue Center

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