A day trip to a state park or even a short, local hike can quickly change from pleasurable to life-threatening if you get lost. A 10-year-old boy had to be rescued after getting lost and spending the night alone in the Adirondacks.

The boy went missing June 17th in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness area. He was on a hike with his family in a group of 10 and became separated when the group split up on the trail.

Six Forest Rangers and K-9 units searched the trails and a helicopter flew over the surrounding area. Throughout the night the search parties continued to look for the missing boy but were unable to locate him. By morning the search grew to 23 Forest Rangers, NYSP SORT members, NYSP helicopter, and Essex County Sheriff's Deputies.

After spending the night in the wilderness alone, Forest Rangers James Waters and Jason Scott located the frightened boy in good health. He walked out with Rangers and was returned to his family after being evaluated by EMS.

*Before you leave, plan ahead. Learn about the area ahead of time and check the weather forecast.
*Leave word of your destination and schedule
*Arrange to go with a group or at least one other person
*Stay with your party; don't split up and take different trails
*Drink water regularly, and rest and snack occasionally
*Sign in at any DEC trail register you may pass. This will help should they need to search for you
*Check the DEC's Adirondack Trail Information webpages which are updated every week with important information on trail conditions and seasonal notices
*If you become lost, keep calm, stay dry, keep warm and stay put
*If it appears you will need to spend the night in the woods, build a campfire to provide heat, light and comfort. A campfire will be invaluable in locating you if you have been reported missing. Aircraft may be used in searching when weather permits and smoky campfires may be spotted from the air
*If the weather is particularly cold or bad and you must spend the night in the woods, also build a small shelter using dead branches, hemlock boughs and leaves. The shelter will serve as a "cocoon" and should be just big enough for you to lie in comfortably.
*If you feel you can try and find your way out of the woods, remember following streams downhill will nearly always lead you back to signs of habitation.

Get more hiking tips at the DEC website.


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