For all outdoorsman one of the most humbling experiences and potentially frightening is getting lost. If one is prepared, the anxiety is reduced and success in getting found is increased substantially. We also strongly advise to teach your children when they are young as it will empower them and decrease their own anxiety.
No one plans on getting lost in the outdoors and all too often many are not prepared for that unfortunate incident to occur. All too often hubris gets in the way and that little personality trait causes more harm than good in being found and teaching others in your group. Many adults will minimize and state “I just got turned around.” Or “ I knew where I was the whole time.”
There are many other accessories you can carry however practically speaking I am gong to keep this small at this point. A signal mirror is nice and also doubles as something to look in your eye for eye injuries however the practicality of a signal mirror in many locations is just not practical. It sounds good and looks exciting however it would be more practical out west in the Tetons or Yellowstone, and it is dependent on sunny days. An orange tarp with a black duct tape “X” on it works very well.
Let’s talk about the triple “X” signal on a tarp and again let’s talk practicality. It is generally taught that three X’s on a tarp on the ground is the universal signal for help. I have given many presentations on survival to county officers, conservation officers and state troopers and I was surprised how many did not know the three X’s. Many knew of the X but not the three. In reality if you are lost and have one “X” taped on an orange tarp how many rescuers will state, “ Nope, they do not need help they do not have three X’s on the tarp.” Forget the three X’s. Make an “X” and you are good to go.
Other equipment I carry that is not mentioned above would be knives, small gauge wire for snares, compass, some water filtration system or purifier, fish hooks and cordage as well as a tarp for shelter. Again for further details on medical kits and water purification please see those topics.
Note teach your children that when lost you will be found and if you are thirsty drink the water. If they become ill we will treat them after they are found. Much better than dying of dehydration.