What to Do When Lost or Separated from Your Group (STOP Acronym)

Know how to STOP when you are lost or separated from your group.  Review this acronym with your group before going out on a campout or hike with your group. Being prepared can assist searchers who are looking for a missing person or group.

  • Stay put – It is easier for rescuers to find a stationary person than one who is moving. Find a place which is not hazardous and stay there. Have some water and a snack if possible. Rest.
  • Think – Consider what resources you have should the situation extend into overnight. Develop confidence by considering your situation and being prepared.
  • Observe – Take note of your surroundings. Is there shelter from the cold or storms? Is it getting dark? Are there hazards in the area?
  • Plan – Determine what you can to do to conserve energy and be as comfortable as possible. Don’t panic. Rely on your knowledge and observations.

The info-graphic below can help teach this lesson.

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