If you’ve been traveling alone or are lost with your companions, and believe you may not be far from the trail or your campsite, begin a slow, careful, systematic search from the point where you are. Stay oriented in relation to this spot by constantly sighting back to it (perhaps using a tree).
If you’ve registered your estimated return time at a ranger station, or others at home are expecting you back on a certain date, a search party may be sent out when you don’t return as scheduled. This might not happen for a number of days, of course, assuming you’re not due back yet.
Build a large smoky fire (with great care) if you have reason to believe others may be searching for you. Keep an eye out for low-flying aircraft, which you could attempt to signal to using your mirror.
The risk of getting lost is especially high when bushwhacking (traveling cross-country). Don’t bushwhack unless you really know what you’re doing, and feel absolutely confident that you can avoid losing your way. When bushwhacking keep that map and compass handy and check them constantly.
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If possible, an unmarried daughter, female cousin, or sister would step into the wife’s role of overseeing the domestic side of the household. Phoenix Map Another option was to hire a housekeeper. In most cases, these were short-term solutions, since the man usually remarried. If his new wife was previously unmarried, family life usually continued very much as it had before. If his new wife had been widowed, especially if she had minor children from her first marriage, the family became an extended one. Most families of the period had children with various combinations of parents. Children left orphaned could also be adopted into a new family. The procedures and decisions required of a widow were far more complicated. The first task for most women was to oversee the probate of her husband’s estate, assessing his property and possessions, collecting any money owed and ensuring that any debts were paid. Her role was to ensure that his wishes were carried out and his belongings legally disposed. While many men arranged for assistance in the form of trustees or overseers, placing their wives as executors of the estate was a logical choice. Only 11 percent of men dying in Maryland in the seventeenth century did not make their wives the executors of their estates.
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