Equipped To Survive Equipped To Survive® Presents
The Survival Forum
Where do you want to go on ETS?

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#109660 - 10/23/07 12:57 PM came across a hapless hiker
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
This past weekend my wife and I were backpacking in the Shining Rock wilderness area in North Carolina. Many years ago we pounded the ground there a lot but hadn't been back in a long time. We quite accidentally wound up going there on a weekend of perfect weather sandwiched between 2 rainy weeks. The fall colors were amazing and some of the leaves looked like they were on fire.

Anywho, we stopped for a bit at Ivestor Gap and soon another hiking couple walked up from another trail. The two were "discussing" the right way to go and it was clear that neither had any previous experience in the area. They were dayhikers and were not planning to spend the night out.

They asked us for some info so I pulled out my 1:44,500 topo trail map, explained to them where they were and what their options were for the way back. At this point the man said "well, I guess I should have brought a map...". His ladyfriend made it clear that she agreed. It was late in the afternoon and while they could have backtracked the way they came (if they had lights), I showed them an alternate that avoided the mountainous terrain that backtracking would involve.

He seemed to be learning a lesson so to help him avoid losing too much face I decided not to mention my 1:24,000 custom UTM map from MyTopo, Garmin Vista HCx and Suunto compass. He might have noticed the Brunton backup compass on my watchband, though... well probably not.

Top
#109663 - 10/23/07 01:03 PM Re: came across a hapless hiker [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 1971
Loc: NE Illinois
It is so easy to not be prepared, plus it cost considerably less ... in the short run.

I'm glad you were there to help them ... and to educate them a little bit.

Top
#109728 - 10/23/07 06:11 PM Re: came across a hapless hiker [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
I suspect that you could have given them your topo and a compass, and they would have been just as lost...
_________________________
OBG

Top
#110218 - 10/27/07 12:36 AM Re: came across a hapless hiker [Re: OldBaldGuy]
hiker1 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 10/17/07
Posts: 79
Loc: Missouri
Agreed...OBG. A lot of people are clueless about how to use a map and compass. I wonder if they had enough supplies to last a couple of days if they had got themselves hopelessly lost.

Top
#111016 - 11/01/07 03:25 PM Re: came across a hapless hiker [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Unfortunately, I meet a lot of folks out there w/o a clue as well. A friend of mine and I were recently hiking in Devil's Canyon (San Gabriel Wilderness) which is a pretty tough hike, and it's an "upside down" hike, meaning that you descend first (into deep Devil's Canyon), and then have to climb on the way out after you're tired. Anyway, we found two perfectly good mountain bikes sitting alone way out in the middle of no where. We had come down canyon and had gone down as far as a large water fall that blocks further progress downstream -- unless you're prepared for class 5 climbing. We knew we were alone. Thinking this to be odd, I called a friend of mine who is on a SAR team. He said that two mountain bikers were missing in the area.

The good news is that SAR picked up the two guys, and they were OK. Apparently, they had become overwhelmed with the grueling nature of the route. Lower Devil's Canyon is brush choked, boulder (large) strewn wash that necessitates a lot of climbing and bush whacking. (why anyone would carry a bike down that is beyond me) They abandoned their bikes, but on their return trip, they missed the point where the trail climbs out of the canyon (easy to do in heavy brush) and went deeper into the wilderness. Oh, and yes they were just wearing T shirts and bike shorts (the lows were down in the high 30's/low 40's but the days were in the high 70's). There are too many people who read the various "pasttime" magazines which pump up a particular sport but rarely if ever discuss the truly serious nature of accidents, getting lost, etc. in the wild. It's all really upbeat pablum.


Edited by Hikin_Jim (11/01/07 03:28 PM)
_________________________
Adventures In Stoving

Top
#111216 - 11/02/07 09:29 PM Re: came across a hapless hiker [Re: Hikin_Jim]
Be_Prepared Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 530
Loc: Massachusetts
More than once over the past few years I have had "tag-a-longs" following our group down off a mountain trying to safely get back below tree line.

It happened once last spring in NH, Mt Adams if I recall, but, I'm not positive, we did that whole ridgeline. The people were so happy to see us coming down from a summit one afternoon, I thought they were going to hug us. They were disoriented, clueless, out for a "fun day in the mountains". When the clouds rolled in we were above them, and visibility really dropped. You could barely make out the next cairn on the trail if you were really looking. I don't think they even really understood how trails worked above treeline. Anyway, they didn't care where we were going, they just wanted to get below the clouds so they could see again.

I probably don't need to mention that they were underequipped, both in terms of actual "equipment", and in terms of training/experience...here's an example:
We had a couple instances where we had a guy head out to the next cairn on length of paracord, just because the visbility was so bad... well, our "tag-a-long" couple were horrified, because they somehow envisioned my buddy rappelling down the mountain on the 550 cord! (We got a pretty big laugh out of that one, could have really spooked them if we weren't so nice...)

Eventually we got them to an AMC hut (Madison Springs hut between Mt Adams and Mt Madision), and they went in for some cocoa and a sanity break. We kept going on our traverse, and for all I know, they stayed the night at the hut. Afterwards, we looked at it as having saved some poor SAR team from having to go find them later that night when they didn't come home.
_________________________

- Ron

Top
#111255 - 11/03/07 03:07 AM Re: came across a hapless hiker [Re: Hikin_Jim]
raydarkhorse Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 510
Loc: on the road 10-11 months out o...
Originally Posted By: Hikin_Jim
Unfortunately, I meet a lot of folks out there w/o a clue as well. A friend of mine and I were recently hiking in Devil's Canyon (San Gabriel Wilderness) which is a pretty tough hike, and it's an "upside down" hike, meaning that you descend first (into deep Devil's Canyon), and then have to climb on the way out after you're tired. Anyway, we found two perfectly good mountain bikes sitting alone way out in the middle of no where. We had come down canyon and had gone down as far as a large water fall that blocks further progress downstream -- unless you're prepared for class 5 climbing. We knew we were alone. Thinking this to be odd, I called a friend of mine who is on a SAR team. He said that two mountain bikers were missing in the area.

The good news is that SAR picked up the two guys, and they were OK. Apparently, they had become overwhelmed with the grueling nature of the route. Lower Devil's Canyon is brush choked, boulder (large) strewn wash that necessitates a lot of climbing and bush whacking. (why anyone would carry a bike down that is beyond me) They abandoned their bikes, but on their return trip, they missed the point where the trail climbs out of the canyon (easy to do in heavy brush) and went deeper into the wilderness. Oh, and yes they were just wearing T shirts and bike shorts (the lows were down in the high 30's/low 40's but the days were in the high 70's). There are too many people who read the various "pasttime" magazines which pump up a particular sport but rarely if ever discuss the truly serious nature of accidents, getting lost, etc. in the wild. It's all really upbeat pablum.

I wonder if they were Avid readers of publications like Backpacker magazine?
_________________________
Depend on yourself, help those who are not able, and teach those that are.

Top
#111261 - 11/03/07 04:45 AM Re: came across a hapless hiker [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Wow, I missed this when you first posted it.

Hopefully, they've learned something. Other than to look for you in a cape and tights.
_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

Top
#111325 - 11/03/07 09:10 PM Re: came across a hapless hiker [Re: raydarkhorse]
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: raydarkhorse
I wonder if they were Avid readers of publications like Backpacker magazine?


Well, they were carrying razor blades... grin
_________________________
Adventures In Stoving

Top
#111328 - 11/03/07 09:36 PM Re: came across a hapless hiker [Re: Hikin_Jim]
DougM Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/03/06
Posts: 48
Cheer up, I once heard of a couple who apparently stepped off a trail (dirt road) for a "true wilderness experience" and couldn't find the "trail" again " no fog, on a slope (couldn't even tell which way was uphill, I suppose).

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >



Moderator:  Alan_Romania, Blast, cliff, Hikin_Jim 
January
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31
Who's Online
2 registered (hikermor, Pete), 265 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Michelle, EthanJames, Jason91, tangelo, woodstix
5234 Registered Users
Newest Posts
Philippine Volcano Erupting
by hikermor
1 second ago
Happy birthday, Jack London
by Pete
7 minutes 10 seconds ago
What did you do today to prepare?
by hikermor
15 minutes 38 seconds ago
38 minutes of Fear
by Ren
Today at 05:39 PM
Ridiculous carry - what have you seen?
by Herman30
Today at 05:32 PM
USCG Strobe lab & field test reports - 2012 & 2015
by Montanero
Today at 01:12 AM
keychain pill container
by Doug_Ritter
Yesterday at 10:38 PM
Multotool Modification
by mattbpkt
Yesterday at 08:34 PM
Newest Images
Tiny knife / wrench
Handmade knives
2"x2" Glass Signal Mirror, Retroreflective Mesh
Trade School Tool Kit
My Pocket Kit
Glossary
Test

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Information posted on this forum is not reviewed for accuracy and may not be reliable, use at your own risk. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.