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Recent Wilderness Survival Story

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  • Recent Wilderness Survival Story

    Eight days ago an athletic young man and mountain climber left on a weekend climb near here. This man was so athletic that he could no longer find partners that would keep-up with him as he hurtled up and down mountains and trails. Such was the case last weekend, he intended to climb a mountain in a single day, to do so he left virtually all his gear behind at his car, carrying only a light rainsuit. Everything went swell, the weather was unusually warm and sunny for October, and he was actually on his way off the mountain, crossing a snow field, when he slipped on the sun softened surface. The fall took only a few seconds, the climber's ankle was shattered and his leg lacerated, he was crippled. With great fortitude the man drug himself over a mile, crossing the main trail in the area, to a small wooded lake for water. The climber had no matches so he had no fire, no cell phone, no nothing.
    An intensive search was launched but the man's route of travel was unknown, his location was away from the search area. The man survived the next five days on water and bugs. A voulenteer searcher found the young man when he went towards the small lake as an afterthought and found the drag marks the injured man had left along the trail.
    If this daring young climber had carried just a BIC lighter he would have been rescued in 24-48 hours.
    Other climbers have not been so lucky, one man who died on the mountain was not discovered for over 20 years in the same area.
    The road to serfdom is paved with free electric golf carts.

  • #2
    Kenno, I heard that story on ABC News Radio and that was simply amazing!

    It underscores the need to be prepared perhaps better than anything else that counts as "news" nowadays. Here's a link to the story from an ABC TV affiliate:

    Missing climber found alive on Wash. mountain
    posted 5:38 am Sat October 18, 2008
    http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/1008/562445.html

    I remember seeing a movie when I was a kid about a man who was attacked by a bear and had to crawl to get what he needed as well, but I forgot the name of the movie. It had little or no dialogue or even monologue and it may have been based on a true story. I know it's not the Jack London story "To Build A Fire", so that's ruled out, but I wish I could remember the name.
    "Apocalypse is by no means inevitable." --Jim Rice.

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    • #3
      The movie was Man in the Wilderness based on a true event that happened in the 1850's? It stared that british actor who was also starred in 'A Man Called Horse'.
      The road to serfdom is paved with free electric golf carts.

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      • #4
        Kenno,

        I checked out that title on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) and you are so correct, sir. Richard Harris did a cracker-jack job in both this film and in A Man Called Horse:

        Man in the Wilderness Plot Summary
        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067388/plotsummary

        Now you have me wanting to rent them and watch them again. I can't be doing that too much if I want to keep a stash of cash to survive.

        :D
        "Apocalypse is by no means inevitable." --Jim Rice.

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        • #5
          About that climber; he now says he drank his own urine, how he did that with out a cup is beyond me, the very thought raises questions better left unanswered! Me-thinks me-sees a book/TV movie deal! Anyway the local opinion is that he deserves to have his other ankle broken for being such an idiot and endangering the rescuers lives!
          The road to serfdom is paved with free electric golf carts.

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          • #6
            Urine is bad for you as it is a highly diluted form of the heavy metals and pollutants that your body clears out of your waste so that it does not enter your blood stream. That is the key highly diluted in water.

            It is my understanding (please correct if otherwise) that in a survival situation a person can perish in as little as three days without water. Urine, though certainly a last resort, would provide enough water to extend that for an extra day or even more if you were not heavily exerting yourself.

            Eventually the kidneys would shut down from lack of water well before the pollutants in the urea (CO(NH2)2 poisoned you. Emergency medical treatment can perform miracles to purify blood but you need to be alive to receive such treatments.

            Though personally I would go for stagnant water before urine....the survival situation dictates your level of desperation and the resulting choices. As for how he drank it I imagine his urination was so diminished he could cup it with his hands instead of the more dramatic approaches you are imagining.

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            • #7
              Das,

              Yep. What you said.

              :)

              Folks, there is simply no reason to drink urine when there are many more potable sources of water in nature. Dew and frost on a ground tarp--not to be confused with a ground carp, Rusty ;-as well as water accumulated in flowers, nutshells, rock indentions, and water near plant roots are all better examples of water than urine.

              Moreover, there is water in vines, there is water in berries, there is water in sections of bamboo cane. Heck, as David Byrne of The Talking Heads observed, there is water at the bottom of the ocean. (There better be, anyway, or we are all really up the creek. :D )

              And although one should never eat ice or snow (yellow or otherwise*) to obtain water, one can still melt them with fire or with sunlight on a black tarp.

              *(I give many props to Frank Zappa on that insight about yellow snow. Avoid the doggie doo snow-cones in the eye too. ) :D
              Last edited by TheUnboundOne; 10-25-2008, 05:35 PM.
              "Apocalypse is by no means inevitable." --Jim Rice.

              Comment


              • #8
                Kenno,

                I'm with you here. At first, I thought we had a story worthy of the "Drama in Real Life" section of Reader's Digest.

                It turns out that it belongs in the pages of Penthouse Variations!

                :D

                Myself, I am all in favor of making emergency and rescue services into private, free-market endeavors, which people can subscribe to and pay premiums for, much like insurance.

                Those who use the services could pay for them, the genuinely indigent could have services that operate off of voluntary charity, and if people want to deliberately act stupid, they can pay extra for the time, trouble, and danger imposed on the rescuers.

                Indeed, that is how ambulance services operated for a long time in my locality. There were also Volunteer Fire Departments that would fight fires for anyone, but they did give red flags for homes of donors, presumably to mark territory that merited the most attention.

                Oh, I also remember: During the California wildfires last year, there were private firefighting services that were provided by the insurance company of some rich homeowners and there were also companies the sold equipment for as little as $1000 that would make yards more fire-resistant. Naturally, whatever can be bought can also be rented, so there's an entrepreneur's opportunity there.
                Last edited by TheUnboundOne; 10-25-2008, 05:51 PM. Reason: Addendums
                "Apocalypse is by no means inevitable." --Jim Rice.

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