What to do if you get lost in the Maine woods.

January 22, 2008

A series of highlights from the popular (and free!) little orange book distributed by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife – You Alone in the Maine Woods:

  1. Before entering the woods you should check your compass and bearings. This assures, for one thing, that you have not left your compass in another pair of pants or on the camp table.
  2. A bandana tied around the neck keeps out rain.
  3. A small plastic pill bottle is a great way to carry your wooden match supply.
  4. Fire is survival. As soon as your fire is lively you’ll feel as man has felt for centuries: dominant, secure and comforted.
  5. Gathering firewood is a positive action that will relieve you of the burden of imagined danger.
  6. In gathering firewood, a small belt-ax (note to self: buy belt-ax) is worth its weight in gold, and the carrying of such an ax is more important than carrying a gun.
  7. Save your voice and don’t shout until you know help is near. Shouting in the empty woods will only add to your depression and make you hoarse.
  8. Relax: there is nothing in the Maine woods that wants to eat you. (This is page 33. Other pages talk about bears.)
  9. Don’t sit fretting about how cold you are. Do something about it! Now is a good time to keep repeating, “God helps those who help themselves.”
  10. After you are warm and alert, make an honest decision – do you have any real idea where you are?


  1. Seriously?? Those aren’t really verbatim, are they? Ohhhhh, my….WHAT are you getting into?? :-)

  2. I hate it when I leave my compass in my other pair of pants.

  3. Hey. I have an idea. Maybe for your student project you should get lost in the Maine woods with your recording equipment and see if these tips are useful. Good idea, right? Right?

  4. I never met anybody less likely to get lost in the Maine woods than you. For one thing, you are an urban girl, not a hiker. Secondly, they don’t keep forests in Portland.

  5. Ooh…I bet that little orange booklet has a section on TICKS!

  6. I hadn’t even thought about ticks. ICK.

  7. is that frog and toad i see in the background of your photo?

  8. The two little concrete animals? They are Toad and Bird, bought at favorite garden store in Chapel Hill, NC. I go a little nuts in that store.

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