Topic: Getting Lost AND Stranded Off the Road in Your SUV - Get Your Vehicle Out in The Open
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If you become lost AND stranded off the road, immediately find a large clearing, meadow, or other open area and park you SUV right in the middle of it. You need to get out in the open so that search aircraft or ground personnel at higher elevations can spot you. STAY ON, OR WITHIN SIGHT OF, THE ROAD YOU WERE TRAVELING. Park your vehicle in the open (blue arrow arrow in top photograph) and avoid areas where your SUV or your your signals will be obscured by trees (red arrows).

If you cannot move your vehicle and is it not out in the open, you need to find a place to set up a HELP sign and a place you will signal from. Hike up and down the road you are on to find a clearing (second photograph).

In mild weather you may want to set up camp and shelter in the shade of trees but leave your vehicle and a big HELP sign out in the open. In the winter months, stay in your vehicle. This is the best shelter against severe winter storms.

Use your car horn and give three one second blasts every 15 minutes during the day. Do not use any other electrical devices in your SUV as you must conserve your battery.

Now look at the bottom two photographs showing the search aircraft overhead. The upper of the two shows your view from among a stand of trees. The bottom photograph shows your view from the middle of a clearing.

The search and rescue personnel in the aircraft are going to have the same perspective. You, your SUV, and your signal are going to be obscured by trees and you will not be found. You need to get your HELP sign and do your signaling from out in the open to maximize the chances of your being spotted from the air or from ground rescuers at higher elevations than you.
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