A similar situation happened a few years back with me and my hunting buddy (been hunting together for 40 years) was in WVA. pretty far back in the boonies along about noon we met up and decided he would make a wide circle around me and I would pretty much work in the same area hoping we might drive a deer to one or the other, and we would meet back at camp at dark. We both had a topo and a compass and the paths of travel were marked on both maps About 3 P.M. a snow storm set in and I decided to work my way back to camp as planned, got there right about dark no buddy, figured I would give it a hour for him to show up, did not happen. Started to put together a rescue pack as we were familiar with the area (having hunted there many times) Got everything together figured we might need and planning a course of travel from the map in a reverse direction in a effort to cut the distance to him and as I started out the door here he came. Said he decided to take what he thought was a short cut back to camp and came out about 4 miles on a unfamiliar road, luck was on his side as a guy in a pick up stopped and gave him a ride back to camp. This was long before cell phones and such devices. So I guess what I am saying is make a plan stick to the plan use all applications of navigation aids available to you, A lesson was learned that night go in pairs no matter what.