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Top 10 Ways to Never Get Lost

Written by: Editorial Staff

June 8, 2011
Filed Under Self Help 


Contributed by Dave Buesing, Top 10 Guru

Full disclosure: I have the worst sense of direction in the history of humankind. I get lost stepping out of the shower.

Over the years, I’ve had to learn several ways to cope with this inability to get where I’m going. It hasn’t been easy, and I’ve accidentally crossed state borders more often than I’d like to admit, but I’ve picked up a few tricks in the process.

These are the top 10 ways to never get lost.

10. Bring a map or atlas

A list of the top ten ways to never get lost

An atlas sounds antiquated in this day and age, like suggesting you cure a case of the Bubonic plague with some nice juicy leeches, but it’s a nice failsafe to ensure you never get lost. I’d say an atlas is most effective for very long road trips since it will allow you to navigate interstates with ease.

9. Get married

A list of the top ten ways to never get lost

Driving alone can be a lot more dangerous when you don’t know where you’re going. Add a loving partner to the mix and they can happily read the map and tell you all the mistakes you have made and will make during the coming trip. This is a particularly effective way to never get lost for men, mostly because they will never admit they’re lost again.

8. Buy a smartphone

A list of the top ten ways to never get lost

Similar to a GPS, but slightly less targeted to travel, a great smartphone will make sure that you always have a backup plan when you really get lost. Make sure you have a cell phone backup charger, and protective case so your lifeline to being found doesn’t die on you. Finding yourself in completely unfamiliar territory can be horrifying and annoying – knowing that you can pull off the road and quickly search for directions solves the problem instantly.

7. Google maps/mapquest ahead of time

A list of the top ten ways to never get lost

This is hardly groundbreaking, and not always perfect, but printing out online directions can really help you never get lost. The key with online directions is to look them over in advance. You really should not be looking over directions for the first time in your car. Not only is this dangerous (you probably wouldn’t study for a geography exam while moving 65 mph), but it’s also the most likely way to miss your turn.

6. Don’t leave

A list of the top ten ways to never get lost

Although you may think this is a joke (it is), there are actually advantages to staying right in your own backyard. Think about it: what would you rather do with your small children? Drive in the general direction of a campground you may never find? Or pitch a tent in the yard and reap the benefits of indoor plumbing? The choice seems clear.

5. Mark some territory/notice a landmark

A list of the top ten ways to never get lost

If you find yourself out in the woods alone for some reason (it’s cool, I really don’t need an explanation), taking note of landmarks or carving your name into a tree might help ensure you don’t circle around the same location over and over. If you’d prefer not to damage the tree’s feelings, you could instead tie some rope around it.

4. Take astronomy

A list of the top ten ways to never get lost

According to historians, there was a time when travelers used things like “stars” and “the sun” to help them find their destination. I’m not sure I buy it, but any boy scout will be able to tell you that knowing basic astronomy and a strong recognition of the North Star the Milky Way will help you find your way home. The only catch is you may have to learn science.

3. Fly

A list of the top ten ways to never get lost

When you truly have a hopeless sense of direction, letting a pilot take care of the transportation can be a great call. Although flying is rarely the cheapest option, planes rarely take wrong turns, and you’ll get to travel hands free with a whole bunch of new friends.

2. Find a nice church

A list of the top ten ways to never get lost

“I once was lost, but now, I’m found.” Maybe church is the answer.

1. GPS

A list of the top ten ways to never get lost

If you’re driving, this is probably the single best solution to never get lost. GPS devices come in many different forms, and they can be pricey, but they also provide excellent peace of mind on the road. All you have to do is enter your preferred destination and an electronic woman’s voice will guide you all the way there.

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