Getting Lost

Getting lost is perhaps the greatest hazard the collector faces. The desert is a place of austere beauty and of harsh extremes. The mountains turn a forbidding face to the person unfamiliar with them, but it is possible to live, and live well, in both environments. If you get lost, don't panic. Stay with your companions, take shelter where you are, and try to enjoy the situation as you wait for rescue. Prospectors in such situations have been known to live on fern shoots, pinon nuts, and the berries that bears eat, such as rose hips, elderberries, thimbleberries, and juniper pips.

The lost and lorn who have their automobile have everything needed to sustain life — shelter, heat, water, fuel for making an alarm fire. Desert-wise persons advise staying in and close to the car; it is easier for rescuers to find a car than a person. Given enough reserve food and water, the misplaced prospector can settle down in his steel shelter, safe from animals and weather, and enjoy being away from it all for a few hours or days.

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