Hittin' the Trails
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Prince George, BC, Canada.
Interest: Hiking, camping, reading, solitude
Hey. I don't have as much experience as you in the backcountry, but I have a little. In my opinion the number of folks getting lost comes down to a couple of factors:
1. Over reliance on electronic devices to find their way. Thing like GPS are handy, but at the end of the day a lot of raw beginners, while they are following the correct path as indicated by their GPS, don't know WHY it's the right path. its like memorizing that 5x5 = 25, but you don't know why it's 25 or how to get there using basic math skills.
2. Lack of basic map and compass orientation training, or even landmark direction training(sun, stars, moon, directionality of vegetation).
3. The "teddy bearing" of the outdoors, by movies, television, and other media. For a lot of folks, especially city folks, or people from countries, their only exposure to the outdoors is what they see on tv. What are they seeing? Unrealistic stories and depictions of what they have seen on mainstream media, and thus they believe they are prepared. It's like here in BC, or Banff. Every year you get bus loads of tourists stop, get out of their cars or buses, and immediately walk right up to a mother grizzley and her cubs, and try for a picture. It's mind boggling, but all they know is what they've seen on shows like Little Bear, paddington, or Winnie The Pooh.
Anyway that's my opinion. I acknowledge that I am generalizing a bit, and for that I apologize. Not everyone is like I've described, but each year it does seem like more and more people get lost, and SAR needs to be called.