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#199616 - 04/04/10 04:55 AM Re: Survivalist Richard Code's final hours [Re: dougwalkabout]

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1838
something to mull over is what state of mind you or anyone would find themselves in during a real survival situation.i'm not talking about lost on a hunting trip or hike where you have gear and can sit it out by a fire and wait for help or day light and walk out but something your tossed into with the panic level already high..if self control came in a bottle you could go off with that and a couple matches and do just fine.the problem is how to train yourself to pull out just not the knife and foil blanket when you need it but the state of mind to use them.at the lowest level there was for me the Order Of The Arrow in Scouts,so long ago i can't really recall which year.we were left alone in the woods for a nite.at the top was some military training where someone was screaming at this wet,tired,hungry person,me,"well what are you going to do now!!!"--i can't think of a program that offers the level of artificial panic that you would need to train yourself to work in a "normal" manor in a abnormal situation.i think this is what this unfortunate fellow was trying to do.

#199618 - 04/04/10 05:57 AM Re: Survivalist Richard Code's final hours [Re: CANOEDOGS]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Art_in_FL phrased it beautiful how a mindset fixed at completing THE PLAN can kill you. I find myself pondering if his lack of flexibility was induced by his life situation, using his newly interest of outdoor survival skill as a test of character - and as a means to rebuild his character, his life and his self respect. His dedication to this project does seem almost pathological. But that is as far as I am willing to go as to speculate about what was going on in his mind.

In times of stress and less than optimal conditions (low blood sugar, little sleep, my kids are crying and so on) I personally find some tendencies to inflexibility and going into STICK-TO-THE-PLAN-mode. Sometimes this plan is less than optimal, and I try to spot these situations and ease off a little.

You need to monitor the balance between flexibility and determination. Sometimes you just have to muster the iron will to complete the chosen solution (and even a less than optimal one - whatever works, as long as you do it, and do it NOW!). Other times you need to open your mind to the world around you and let the obvious solution present itself. (Such as - go back where I come from, which is surprisingly hard for the average male. Yes, including me.) Which is exactly why the S.T.O.P. acronym was invented.

#199622 - 04/04/10 10:56 AM Re: Survivalist Richard Code's final hours [Re: MostlyHarmless]
scafool Offline

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
There is only one thing I would like to point out again.
He might have been deceived a bit by the weather and expected it to be much less severe.

The weather this winter was a bit odd. We had one very large snowfall very early in the winter and then we had very mild weather most of the time after that.
Even at the time he left Toronto it had been unseasonably warm.
It was mixed rain and snow that weekend in Muskoka.
It was not the normal cold and dry weather,and very unusual for Muskoka in February.

As you have all picked up from the article there were some other factors involved in his decisions too. Personal problems in his life.
When I first heard this story the thought of him being suicidal hit me, but reading it again I think he wasn't a suicide.

I think he fully intended to return and just got in over his head.
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

#199625 - 04/04/10 12:28 PM Re: Survivalist Richard Code's final hours [Re: BorkBorkBork]
ILBob Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 776
Loc: Northern IL
Originally Posted By: BorkBorkBork
To me it actually sounds like a planned suicide in the guise of a survival trip.

That had occurred to me too, especially considering his deteriorating physical condition. It would explain why he went so far into the woods so unprepared. Maybe he knew exactly what he was up to and wanted to make sure if he lost his nerve at the end it would not matter any.

There is just no way to really way to know for sure just what went wrong for him, while giving some thought to the idea that it went exactly as he had planned.
Warning - I am not an expert on anything having to do with this forum, but that won't stop me from saying what I think. smile


#199631 - 04/04/10 04:04 PM Re: Survivalist Richard Code's final hours [Re: ILBob]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6709
Loc: southern Cal
In trying to unravel this unfortunate's final hours, consider that his judgment was impaired by hypothermia and physical exhaustion. Extreme environmental stresses, including both heat and cold, affect the centers in the brain which allegedly conduct higher reasoning. Very few of us can afford any loss of this ability, in the best of circumstances.
Geezer in Chief

#199639 - 04/04/10 07:24 PM Re: Survivalist Richard Code's final hours [Re: Teslinhiker]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
From the article



When Toronto police came to search the room Mr. Code rented in north Scarborough, they found he had prepared carefully, arranging on his desk a map of his route, trip plans and a list of equipment: knife, compass, map, fishing gear, axe, lighter, space blanket. The short list didnít include a tent, sleeping bag, snowshoes or any food.

I guess he really wasn't Equipped to Survive. frown

Incorrectly dressed for the conditions and without a means to make a warming drink efficiently using a metal cup or pot whilst in windy wet snowy conditions -5 to 5C (the perfect weather to get hypothermia) no wonder Richard Code froze to death.

I also think everyone is underestimating the influence the Survival TV shows may have had on this fellow. Rarely will you see these TV personalities be equipped with a Goretex Bivi, Goretex Rain suit, Gaiters, Snowshoes, Down Sleeping bag and mat, metal pot, thermos and stove etc because the survival show suddenly becomes a camping show.

Whether a tent would have saved Mr. Code is a question no one would be asking had he only made it another 800 metres over open ground to the trailer park at the south end of Bear Lake. The resort, which was visible from where Mr. Code started his trip, was empty and cold, but the pay phone was working.

And yes a lightweight tent would have saved his life rather than the downright almost useless proverbial space blanket nonsense. Its a ashame Mr. Code hadn't come across this forum for his info rather than the Discovery Channel.

Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (04/04/10 07:32 PM)

#199656 - 04/05/10 12:42 AM Re: Survivalist Richard Code's final hours [Re: BruceZed]
ILBob Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 776
Loc: Northern IL
Originally Posted By: BruceZed
Living in the bush can be tough. Many people continually underestimate the amount of calories burnt and the tough task master that the bush is. hopefully his example will help others from wondering into the bush without proper equipment and training.

I think people forget how long it can take to do even simple things like build a fire. Its not unusal to take 30 minutes or more to get a good fire going.
Warning - I am not an expert on anything having to do with this forum, but that won't stop me from saying what I think. smile


#199667 - 04/05/10 01:07 PM Re: Survivalist Richard Code's final hours [Re: ILBob]
Compugeek Offline

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 392
Loc: San Diego, CA
I can't help wondering how many others will try to prove that they could handle what he couldn't.

I take from his story that a key survival skill is flexibility: being able to recognize that you need to abandon Plan A, and to actually do so.
Okey-dokey. What's plan B?

#199675 - 04/05/10 04:58 PM Re: Survivalist Richard Code's final hours [Re: Compugeek]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Odd, if accurate. It gave me a funny feeling.

Arthritis and CFS, then he goes out underdressed and undersupplied, doesn't evaluate the conditions properly, doesn't change his plans despite changes in conditions...

Maybe not suicide per se, but it almost feels like he didn't care if he survived or not. And that would be a really bad frame of mind to be in at the time.


#199683 - 04/05/10 05:55 PM Re: Survivalist Richard Code's final hours [Re: dougwalkabout]
clarktx Offline

Registered: 07/01/08
Posts: 250
Loc: Houston, Texas
Here is a quote from my favorite book:

"She could not understand what men were coming to nowadays; her own great uncle, Sven Rat-Nose, ... had fallen like a hero fighting the Smalanders three years after drinking the whole company under the table at his eldest grandson's wedding; whereas, now, you heard talk of cramps from men in the prime of life who were apparently quite willing to die, unashamedly, on their back in straw, like cows." The Long Ships, page 24, by Frans Gunnar Bengtsson.

He didn't die like a hero, which is quite a shame as it seems he had some sense of courage and determination. But at least he didn't die like a cow.
You can't teach experience.

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