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Planning ahead can help keep people from getting lost in the woods

Nante Niemi being carried from the woods
Hurley School District Facebook
Nante Niemi being carried from the woods

After a missing Hurley boy was found after being missing for two days, experts say safety should be top of mind for parents.

Nante Niemi, age 8, went missing in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in the western Upper Peninsula Saturday afternoon while on a camping trip with his family.

He was found in good shape Monday afternoon.

"The first thing that I always tell people is to plan ahead, and that can include the kiddos in the conversation," said Mary Bisch, a conservation warden for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

That includes knowing what gear to pack for your hike and establishing how you can communicate with each other.

"Stay within voice or visual contact with those people who are out, that way you or the person who's your buddy, you can keep track of each other. That way, if someone does stray a little bit farther, you can remind them to stay with the group and come back," Bisch said.

Staying on track can also mean watching out for landmarks or re-tracing your steps if you find yourself alone. If that doesn't work, stay calm.

"If you don't know where you are and you're not able to retrace your steps, staying put is a good idea, that way we're not getting further lost or we're not continuing to go into the woods," Bisch said.

Should the worst happen, you should make sure someone is able to call for help.

Just be mindful that anything can happen in the woods and talking through it beforehand can keep everyone together.

"People don't expect the worst to happen and it does, and somebody gets lost and they're really scared, they're really nervous, but having that place ahead of time kind of eases those anxieties," Bisch added.

There are several GPS tracking apps you can install on your mobile devices, but you can also make sure everyone stays on the trails to avoid needing them.

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