Two workers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were rescued Monday night after getting lost in the Central Oregon Cascades near Lava Lake. The two EPA agents were stuck in the dark and the snow for hours after losing their orientation and being unable to find their vehicle.
Three Lane County sheriff’s deputies went looking for the workers after receiving a number of calls just after 7 p.m. Using lights and whistles the deputies were able to find the workers shortly after 10 p.m.
The sheriff’s department reports that the two workers were unprepared to be out in the forest after dark, lacking weather-appropriate clothing, proper flashlights, and no means to make a fire. Thanks to the sheriff’s deputies, the workers were able to avoid tragedy. But what if you got lost in the woods and weren’t so lucky to have the sheriff’s department looking for you? Here are a few essentials you should have with you whenever you venture out into the woods, just in case:
Even if the weather seems pleasant when you set out on your adventure, nighttime temperatures can drop to extremely low levels. If you aren’t wearing proper clothing – a jacket, fleece, wool socks, jeans, hat, gloves, flannel – you can easily catch pneumonia or frostbite.
High-quality LED flashlights are a must for any outdoor enthusiast. Being lost in the woods is hard enough, but being lost in the woods at night without a source of light can mean tragedy. LED lights work best because they are extremely bright, compact and have a very long battery life.
Food and Water
You may plan on being home for dinner, but if you get lost without food things can quickly turn from bad to worse. Bring small, compact foods that are full of protein and carbohydrates. Dried fruit, jerky, nuts, and chocolate are all great items to have with you when you go into the forest.