There’s nothing quite like a motorhome holiday in Scotland. With 602 miles south to north and 445 miles east to west, you have the complete freedom to explore everything from the Highlands, the Isle Of Skye, the Grampian Mountains, the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, the secrets of Loch Ness and Loch Lomond – the whole world of Scotland is yours to discover.
But having said that, you won’t be able to do all the exploring from your motorhome. While hiring a motorhome in Scotland is the best way to get from A to B, there will be plenty of times when you’ll want to get out on foot, hike the rolling hills, climb to the tallest peaks, or simply walk around and see where the day takes you.
So, what happens if you get lost? This is one of the greatest fears of all travellers, to be in the heart of a brand-new place, disorientated and struggling to retrace your steps. In the event that this happens, you need to have a few things in place to deal with the situation. With this in mind, here are the 7 things you need to do if you get lost on your motorhome holiday and ensure that you get back to your motorhome safely:
First Off, Remember that Prevention is Always Better Than Cure!
We’re going to start by stating the obvious; try not to get lost! In 2023, there are several ways to keep track of where you are, so try to download reliable navigation apps for hiking and – should your connection go down – ensure that you have a non-electronic map for directions.
Similarly, you should make sure that you are travelling places with people, or at least with some locals or tourists nearby who you can ask for help. If, however, you are hiking a trail in the wilderness and the worst should happen, the following steps will explain what you should do.
Firstly, stop moving. If you have found yourself off the trail and realise that you have got lost, it can be very easy to panic and keep walking, in the hope that the trail will reappear. But this will only increase your chances of getting even more lost, making it difficult for any rescue efforts to pinpoint your location. Make sure you stop immediately, and take a few breaths to calm yourself down.
Take A Look Around You And Simply Observe
All of our vehicles are equipped with satellite navigation and GPS, but when you’re out in the wilderness, all you have is your eyes, so make sure you use them! When you have stopped walking, make sure you look around and observe exactly where you are. Take out your map and try to pinpoint some recognisable landmarks. This could help you get more of a bearing and tell you exactly where to go next.
Turn Off Your Phone
This might sound counterintuitive, but you have likely got lost because the signal has been lost from your phone – and you do not have a compass app – so the best thing you can do is turn it off to conserve the battery and then keep checking back for reception.
Try Retracing Your Steps
The next thing you should do is try retracing your steps. If you have a pen and paper, sit down for a moment and write out how you got where you are, jot down some drawings of particular landmarks, mountains, trees, or anything that will help you recognise that you’re going the right way when you start walking back.
Follow A Downward Trajectory
One piece of advice that backpackers give is to follow a stream or any downhill trajectory. These will usually lead to a road or a trail, but it’s important to state that this is a last resort, when you have given up on finding your way back and are instead trying to find civilisation to help you.
Consider Your Options
If all else fails, stop once again and take stock of the situation. You have a few options in front of you. You can either stay put, keep trying to hike out, or put your efforts into creating a rescue signal – using a mirror or anything shiny to flash light, or working out how to create a campfire to make smoke signals to potential rescuers.
Hopefully, you never get into this situation. As we mentioned before, it’s always best to hike new places with people, and never stray too far from your motorhome! But in any case, it’s always best to be prepared for eventualities like this, especially when you’re in a new, unfamiliar place.