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Safety tips hikers can follow if they get lost on trails

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UNION COUNTY, Ill. (WSIL) -- A pair of hikers are home safe Friday evening after authorities said they were missing for several hours.

Officials with the Union County Sheriff's Office confirmed those hikers went missing around 1 p.m. on the "Panther's Den Trail" in the Shawnee National Forest.

Those hikers, a woman and her 5-year-old child went out on the trail but weren't heard from for about four hours.

News 3 WSIL spoke with a conservation police officer from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources about what a hiker can do if they find themselves in this type of situation.

Conservation Officer Shane Teas said the first thing hikers should do if you get separated from your group is to stay where you are. He also recommended having a change of clothing, especially during the colder months when the weather can change fairly quickly.
Teas also said have a compass handy to help guide you back to your group.

"If you may not cell phone service that work the apps, a compass is a good idea. A map most certainly or a compass, even if you don't have signal for a electronic devices. You're always have a compass to be able to point you back to the direction you came from," said Officer Teas.

Authorities confirmed the woman and her young child were found by other hikers and they led them back to authorities around 5 p.m. Friday evening.

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Denise Turner

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