The STOP Acronym works well to control panic:
S: Stop what you’re doing. Sit down (to keep your self from walking or running). Have a drink of water. Water washes the taste of fear out of your mouth. Sit for 30 minutes to reduce the adrenaline that is flooding your system. Use this time to
T: Think. Use your brain to evaluate the threat that is facing you. Is it getting dark? Or is is cold? What will you need to do?
O: Observe your surroundings. How are they similar and different from where you were before you became lost? Is the river on which side of you? What about the mountains or other landmarks, etc? Then finally, develop a plan.
P: Plan. Ask yourself, “What am I going to do?” Decide if you are really lost OR if you are only slightly disoriented. If you are really lost, YOU SHOULD STAY WHERE YOU ARE….and wait to be found. If you are slightly disoriented, you should search for the trail.
Find a good source of water. In a survival situation, you can last up to three days without water, but by the end of the second day you’re not going to be in very good shape. Springs or streams provide good sources of water. If you find a water source and are not sure if it is contaminated, boil it, or use chemical tablets. Contray to popular belief, you don’t need to boil water very long to make it safe from biological contamination. Just bring it to a boil. If there aren’t springs or stream in your area, you can use jacket sleeves tied to your ankles in the morning, when wading through the grass to get dew on the jacket, then suck the moisture out of the fabric. Warning: don’t drink the dew from toxic or allergic plants.
You can survive a few weeks without food, so hunting, fishing and gathering wild edibles isn’t usually an urgent priority. However, the wilderness provides many food sources. See: Merriwether’s Guide to Edible Wild Plants of Texas and the Southwest: http://www.foragingtexas.com/, Wildwood Survival: http://www.wildwoodsurvival.com/survival/food/edibleplants/, Wilderness Survival: http://www.wilderness-survival.net/plants-1.php, Edible Wild Plants Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SyzgAK5NBFY
Orienteering skills (compass and map reading) are only briefly mentioned in this video For additional information, see: My Favorite Navigation Device http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ccem4PNJJ7I, Map Compass 101 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mtZDBJTb0E, Practical Wilderness Navigation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Moido2P8og,
General references: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FV5ShSNIdfY
http://www.wilderness-survival.net/, http://www.wildwoodsurvival.com/survival/index.html, http://www.m4040.com/Survival/Survival.htm, http://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Wilderness_Survival
Videography by Ken Kramm, filmed in the Sam Houston National Forest, Texas, June, 2012, Canon Vixia HFG10, Final Cut Pro X. Creative Commons 3.0 photo of Trail Marker Tree by Wasrts, Wickimedia Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Trail_marker_tree_perspective.JPG. Creative Commons 3.0 music Rite of Passage ISRC: US-UAN-11-00829 and Decisions ISRC: US-UAN-11-00756 by Kevin MacLeod, http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free/. Heartbeat 01,02 by http://www.soundjay.com/.