ATV Camping is about getting to that remote uncrowded back country campsite. Because it is in the back country, everyone in your party should have a map of the area or a handheld GPS unit and know how to use them. Someone back home needs to know where you are going and when you expect to return.
In the event you get lost in the back country or become disoriented, the first rule for survival is “Don’t Panic”. Your goal in this situation is to be found therefore you must make yourself as visible as possible. If you have an ATV stay with it as it can be a valuable resource let alone transportation. If the ATV is broke down still stay with it, it is a large object that can easily be seen and it has components you might be able to use for a survival kit.
Don’t wander, look around the area for landmarks to familiarize yourself with your surroundings. If you have a handheld GPS (Global Positioning System), locate your coordinates and if possible locate a road or landmark close to you. If you have a communication device (cell phone, 2-way radio, etc.) try to contact someone and inform them of your situation, landmarks, and/or coordinates.
Find something to use as a signaling device (mirror, aluminum foil, bright color fabric, etc) to signal other people, planes, and/or vehicles in the area. Make noise to signal other people with a whistle or other noise maker.
If it is dusk or dark then light a fire if possible. A fire not only will keep you warm but it can be seen for miles. Also a campfire helps with the psychology of the lost individual as it has a calming effect and has a way of making us feel safe. You can also use the headlight of the ATV or a flashlight as a signaling device. Again your goal is to be found.
If you have to spend the night build a shelter, anything to block the wind and cold (use your ATV if possible). The smaller the shelter the better to minimize the loss of body heat. Use leaves and/or pine needles as bedding and cover to insulate yourself from the ground and cold. In the morning, stay close to your shelter and continue with everything possible to make yourself visible, smoky fires, signaling devices, loud noises, etc.
If possible find a source of water but again don’t wander too far. Keep in mind that if you were with a group, most likely they are looking for you. Being lost in the back country can happen to anybody. For more on ATV camping survival visit CampingATV.com.