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#210400 - 10/27/10 02:36 PM Garbage bag saves women from cold
Oware Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/23/09
Posts: 41
Loc: 49th parallel
She did just what the SAR folks say to do. Carried a garbage
bag for shelter, and return to, and stay at the place you were
lost.



http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2013266584_apwaingallslakehiker.html
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#210406 - 10/27/10 03:43 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Oware]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2751
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Glad she made it out. In a situation like that it's easy to compound a bad situation with bad decisions, leading to worse outcomes.

Three days in the snow with a garbage bag shelter is not a lot of fun. You either freeze or sweat, and as your insulation becomes damper and damper, you do both. Miserable.

She was alive, but had to be treated for frostbite and hypothermia. No doubt she'll have more than a garbage bag on her next hike.

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#210408 - 10/27/10 04:11 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Oware]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078

Quote:
She was treated for frostbite and hypothermia at Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee.


If she had been carrying a waterproof breathable shell jacket and trouser i.e. Gortex with appropriate cold weather gear such as gloves, bivi jacket and hat etc and the ability to light a fire, she wouldn't have needed the garbage bag and most likely wouldn't now not be being treated for frostbite (probably lost a few fingers and toes to the hospital waste disposal garbage bag) and hypothermia.

The garbage bag isn't a good idea and promoting garbage bags as any form of protection against cold conditions over being properly equipped in the clothing dept is a poor headline.

A MVP material is always preferred over a non MVP barrier material in cold conditions as moisture will build up in the insulation materials next to the skin that are working and degrade them to point that they are actually making the situation worse.

Garbage bags are generally bad idea unless using them purely as a wind break. Carrying a woollen jersey is a much more sensible idea.

Should have brought along a proper windproof jacket such as Montane Jetstream.

The Surviva jak is a non starter IMHO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21opH5jFles

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5-A2va72Fc

They will probably sell a huge number to the unsuspecting. frown

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#210411 - 10/27/10 04:23 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Nothing Poor about Survival! Either you do,or You don't!Should',Woulda',Coulda'-Doesn't Really Matter!She used what She had with her at the time!I say"Good On Her!"

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#210423 - 10/27/10 08:36 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6941
Loc: southern Cal
Well yes, she wasn't properly equipped for a three night stay. She also should have had a VE-25 tent, 0 degree rated down bag,and at least one stove, plus meals. That way she could have served hot tea to her rescuers. She had what she had, and it kept her alive. Survival is ultimately graded as pass/fail. She passed.

I agree with your point that a plastic bag isn't perfect. On the other hand, it is cheap, handy, and light - easy to tuck away until needed. It has its proper place and it can be useful.
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#210435 - 10/27/10 10:40 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Oware]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
One of the first survival techniques I learned was how to rig up a one-man emergency warming station using a large garbage bag and a candle or, ideally, a carbide lamp. Essentially you cut or tear a tight head hole and slip it on, pull it down around you and sitting cross-legged you light your candle and place it between your legs. Even a fire as small as a candle will produce a lot of heat

It was taught primarily to river rafters and spelunkers, people who are likely to find themselves cold and short on equipment if things go wrong in a big way, but it works pretty well for anyone who finds themselves cold and/or wet. Condensation is not an issue because ventilation is simple, intuitively obviously really, lift the hem and fluff out the head hole.

Yes, being properly equipped would be better. A bombproof tent, down sleeping bag, full set of base, insulation, and breathable shell would all be very good. For even more safety and comfort you might stay home. Central heating, a down duvet, fuzzy pajamas, your latest Netflix selection, and delivery Chinese food would make for a much safer, and much more comfortable, evening.

Come the day when you find yourself cold and wet, and short of equipment your going to thank your lucky stars if you find a garbage bag in a hidden pocket. You can't let the best be the enemy of the good.

I don't see any great danger in people storming the great Northwest after giving up their regular gear in favor of a couple of garbage bags. That said, in addition to the odd mini-Bic or matches and tinder in foil tape, space blanket and small hanks of cord I stuff the occasional garbage bag in day packs, and jackets I'm likely to be wearing outdoors.

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#210438 - 10/27/10 10:59 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Oware]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
Its hardly definitive but this evening news account has more detail in it than the Seattle Times article or the speculation here. http://www.kirotv.com/news/25536602/detail.html

She survived by staying awake, moving constantly, and (I suggest) staying confident and upbeat, living (a la Laurence Gonzales' observations on survivors) to see her kids again. The garbage bag isn't mentioned on the TV segment. It probably played a role, but Ms. Manko got lucky with the weather, and (barely) didn't exceed her limitations. The last part of the news account says her temperature was only 90 degrees when she arrived at the hospital. So there's an end even to luck and pluck. She's from the Ukraine though, tough people!

Not to nit pick or to put her down, I don't - but heading up to Lake Ingalls for a day hike is at least a 5-6 hour affair, a prudent hiker would have taken more gear with them at any time of the year, and she left late in the day with bad weather known to be approaching. Situational awareness...

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#210439 - 10/27/10 11:02 PM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Oware]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
Quick note: there's another segment on the news right now, that one says she didn't eat snow (!), she drank water from her bottle and from creeks. I think this is the difference in reporters - Gary Horcher who did the online story is a little alarmist, the guy who just did the second story is more level-headed (and is known to actually hike around these parts). He did note, she was wearing sneakers, jeans, and not very much else - at least not much that would help in waist deep snow.

Anyway, I'm glad she's alive, and hats off to local SAR groups (this one had teams from several counties working together on the rescue).


Edited by Lono (10/27/10 11:03 PM)

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#210456 - 10/28/10 02:26 AM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Oware Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/23/09
Posts: 41
Loc: 49th parallel
Originally Posted By: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor

[quote]
The garbage bag isn't a good idea and promoting garbage bags as any form of protection against cold conditions over being properly equipped in the clothing dept is a poor headline.


You haven't tried it I take it?

It is taught by many SAR teams, the US Air Force survival
instructors, caving instructors, climbing instructors.

Works way better than a cheap space blanket. It is more
durable and can stay on in many more conditions, such as
climbing or walking.

Dozens of people have survived using a trash bag as shelter.
The candle or carbide light inside really works too. Cavers and
climbers often carry a trash bag in the liner of their helmets.
It is always there, something that can't be said for a goretex
rain suit or a VE-25 tent. One of my friends survived a long wait
for rescue deep in a damp cave with a compound femur fracture.
The trash bag and carbide lamp kept her alive till she could
be evacuated.

Goretex wasn't even considered suitable rain gear in Yosemite
for the big walls by the Park Rangers and SAR. They said they
would
fine people who had to be rescued if their rain gear was
a waterproof breathable kind since it failed so often to keep
people dry in the long term.
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#210457 - 10/28/10 02:29 AM Re: Garbage bag saves women from cold [Re: Lono]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Lono
Its hardly definitive but this evening news account has more detail in it than the Seattle Times article or the speculation here. http://www.kirotv.com/news/25536602/detail.html


From that article, "Manko has frostbite on her legs and feet and suffered from hypothermia, but her family said she survived because of her mental toughness and by thinking of hope and happiness."

It sounds like her mind and mental toughness saved her life. I've been reading "SAS Surival Handbook" by John Wiseman. He says that lack of mental toughness is what does most people in (paraphrase).
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