My question is prompted by the answer of @Aaron to this question; his answer referenced Geraldine's Largay's death on the Appalachian Trail.
Ms. Largay was hiking alone on the AT in Maine. She got lost off-trail in a wild section and remained at a water source rather than attempting to self rescue, possibly because of her poor sense of direction. Searchers came very close, and she was only a mile from the AT itself, but she was found only after she died.
If one is in a similar situation, complete with poor sense of direction, what is an efficient and likely effective way to probe the area in an attempt to self rescue?
Assume below timberline, a temperate climate, and no GPS or PLB or similar devices. Ms. Largay had a water source, which was an impetus to stay put, but let's assume at the time you got lost you were not within sight or sound of water. Assume you are not in a desert. Also assume that there is no visible high hill from whose top you might get your bearings.