A 68–year-old has avoided a frosty night in the far south bush by signalling for help with a headlamp.

The man went missing in the Hokonui Forest near Gore about 4pm yesterday and
Search and Rescue Coordinator Sergeant Ian Martin, from Invercargill, said the man avoided a "cold night in the forest" because he was prepared.

LandSAR volunteers from Invercargill and Gore, and Amateur Radio Emergency Communication volunteers helped search for the man and about 10pm a Southern Lakes Helicopter equipped with night vision spotted the missing man signalling with his headlamp.

He was winched from thick native bush on the side of a steep gully.

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The man was uninjured and did not need medical treatment.