I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks.
One of the most common mistakes hikers make is the failure to turn back. Although “summit fever” can be a persuasive emotion, ambition is not a good reason to put oneself in a dangerous situation.
Reasons you should turn back include:
Respect the messages and signals nature and your body send—it’s the sign of an experienced and intelligent hiker, as well as one who can return to bag the peak another day.
What you shouldn't change: your route. If you do not return on schedule and the person you left your plans with contacts authorities, search and rescue efforts will start where it is presumed you are. If you have taken another route, this can substantially delay help reaching you. Think through your situation and use your best judgment. Never change your route unless it is an emergency and always leave emergency plans.