Here is a story that shows just how important it is to stay on marked trails in the forest. It is so easy to get disoriented and lost as two campers recently found out in Maine when they spent an unprepared night in the woods.

Michael Chapman, 40, and Kelli Macfarlin, 38, were found 24 hours after going missing just two miles away from their campsite outside Elliotsville, according to a news release from the Maine Warden Service.

The two were camping with a group of friends and had left the campsite around noon to head back to their car when they apparently became disoriented. Friends notified game wardens when they failed to show up at night and into the next morning.

A search and rescue crew found the pair at 12:45 pm the next day on a section of the Appalachian Trail. They old reporters afterward that they were lucky to find a cabin to sleep in for the night, otherwise the situation could have been much worse as they were not prepared to spend the night in the woods.

“Don’t go alone,” MacFarlin told WCSH Channel 6. “We were very silly to get separated from our group. We went as a whole family. There were eight or ten of us up there and we never should have separated. That was the silliest thing we did.”

Maine game wardens took the opportunity to remind hikers and campers to stay on marked trails and carry communication or GPS devices at all times.

“Stay on the trail,” Lt. Kevin Adam told the station. “Don’t take side trails, don’t try to take shortcuts. When you’re hiking in a group stay together. More people together is more minds together so it’s harder to get lost.”

Photo credit: Maine Warden Service