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

Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 >
Topic Options
#230243 - 08/22/11 03:04 PM Three Hikers Lost for 3 days
BruceZed Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 307
Loc: Canada
Don't know if you noticed this last week. The interesting part of this Survival Situation is that they actually hiked into the wrong water shed and were actually heading south-west instead of south-east and being drawn down a much larger valley deeper into B.C. "The women thought they were hiking back toward Upper Kananaskis Lake - but they had become turned around and were headed in the opposite direction, into B.C.".

Article Link

I think this survival situation points out five good lessons:

1) You need to carry a Map and Compass and understand how to use them.
2) A GPS is an excellent tool to tell you where you are.
3) A SARSAT or SPOT beacon could have reduced this search and rescue to a simple rescue operation.
4) In the wilderness a moving target is always harder to find.
5) Water is an essential element of survival. They became dehydrated because they could not purify water even with a good source beside them. This ability is essential to survival.
_________________________
Bruce Zawalsky
Chief Instructor
Boreal Wilderness Institute
boreal.net

Top
#230246 - 08/22/11 03:33 PM Re: Three Hikers Lost for 3 days [Re: BruceZed]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
So they were actually gone six days. I wonder how much of it they were lost?

> "...weren't able to retrace their steps, despite having a map and compass."

As soon as you know you're lost and don't know what direction to take, PARK IT!

If they had planned for three days, what were they doing for water? Did they carry enough for three people for three days? That's a lot of water. They didn't have a container or firemaking equipment to boil water??? That should have worked fine for organic nasties, and chemical ones wouldn't have been an issue unless they were in mining country.

That's the trouble with those compass and map-things... you have to know how to use them, and actually pull them out and look at them occasionally. A glance at the compass should have told them they were going in the wrong direction.

The Canadian military doesn't get involved in searches like these for practice?

Sue

Top
#230247 - 08/22/11 03:41 PM Re: Three Hikers Lost for 3 days [Re: Susan]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2186
Loc: Bluegrass
Good question Sue about the water.

I couldn't pull up the article (stupid satellite internet)

Agree on navigation being key. I mean, SW versus SE is kinda/sorta easy to mix up, but that whole "Gee the sun is sitting in front of us" should help. And those compasses are pretty easy to use.

If they were getting dehydrated, and sitting on water, then they're frigging idiots. Drink, deal with the runs if you get them by drinking some more. After a couple days your body will most likely settle down. IF you even get the runs. I think a professor from UC Davis or Berkley did a bunch of studies in the Sierra Nevadas. Big take home point I remember was water is pretty clean in the top couple inches b/c of UV light from the sun.

Top
#230249 - 08/22/11 03:43 PM Re: Three Hikers Lost for 3 days [Re: BruceZed]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1389
This was on the local news and also a some other news websites. I did not see any mention that the people were dehydrated from not being able to filter water.

The Kananaskis area and Peter Lougheed Provincial Park covers a vast area and although there are plenty of streams,creeks, accessing the water is not always easy due to terrain etc. For those not familiar with the area, this is very rugged, mountainous country.

Nonetheless, the mention of the importance of carrying a SPOT or PLB is very important and every back country user should carry one.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

Top
#230251 - 08/22/11 03:52 PM Re: Three Hikers Lost for 3 days [Re: MDinana]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6861
Loc: southern Cal
Their problem would appear to be a lack of very basic, fundamental outdoor skills, particularly map and compass (obviously). I am not familiar with that area, but I can,t imagine that there wasn't abundant water in that kind of high alpine environment. The chances are very high that the water if perfectly fine to drink without treatment of any kind. If one felt treatment to be necessary, boiling is an easy, obvious procedure that works far better than other techniques. Since they were on a planned three day hike, they surely must have had some kind of container that would have worked for boiling. Perhaps they were out of stove fuel, or didn't know how to kindle a wood fire, but one suspects that they were very sketchy on basic back country skills.

Electronic gadgetry could have saved the day, but so could the employment of very simple, straightforward procedures.

If you can't read a map and locate yourself on it, never stray from the visitor center and ranger led hikes.
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

Top
#230253 - 08/22/11 04:18 PM Re: Three Hikers Lost for 3 days [Re: hikermor]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1389
I agree on the fundamental lack of skills.

As for the water situation, yes this is mountainous alpine country and although I have not hiked in the immediate area, I have hiked and spent many days in the vicinity. Water can either be abundant or nonexistent for miles. Once while out on a hiking trail and about the same time of year, we went all day and only found readily accessible water source near the trail even though there were creeks near that you would need climbing gear to reach...

Back to the original story. If you get lost, stay put and at least move to a nearby clearing so that SAR has a better chance of spotting you.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

Top
#230254 - 08/22/11 04:36 PM Re: Three Hikers Lost for 3 days [Re: BruceZed]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
Quote:
The interesting part of this Survival Situation is that they actually hiked into the wrong water shed and were actually heading south-west instead of south-east and being drawn down a much larger valley deeper into B.C.


Could the hikers navigational errors added up by not taking into account the 15 1/2 East Magnetic declination. That is quite a considerable declination and not taking this into account after say 4 waypoints might have eventually had them heading 90 degrees off course into the wrong water shed valley.

Quote:
2) A GPS is an excellent tool to tell you where you are.


Unfortunately a GPS isn't a very good tool to tell folks which direction to head off to. i.e. the wrong map datum and incorrect Mag declination information may have made matters worse because the hikers will trust the electronic box to point them in the correct (wrong) direction.

Quote:
5) Water is an essential element of survival. They became dehydrated because they could not purify water even with a good source beside them. This ability is essential to survival.


The nice cup of strong sweet tea procedure should have sorted them out so that it forced a StopThinkObservePlan. frown

They must have had the ability to make a cup of tea, if going for a planned 3 day hike. Shudders to think otherwise. whistle

Top
#230255 - 08/22/11 04:52 PM Re: Three Hikers Lost for 3 days [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
BruceZed Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 307
Loc: Canada
1) Not accounting for declination in this area would have drawn them east not west. They went in the opposite direction at one point and them dropped down into the wrong side of the continental divide. The valley they found and the watershed they were then following was taking them south-west not east or south-east like they wanted to go.

2) "They were tired and dehydrated, but otherwise OK, Webb said." They may have been relying on a stove to boil water for them and simply run out of fuel. I was hiking for a week just south of there two weeks ago. Every stream and river were still running higher than normal, so there should have been plenty of water. There rescuers said they were dehydrated so some part of their water purification system was not working.
_________________________
Bruce Zawalsky
Chief Instructor
Boreal Wilderness Institute
boreal.net

Top
#230256 - 08/22/11 05:12 PM Re: Three Hikers Lost for 3 days [Re: BruceZed]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
Quote:
1) Not accounting for declination in this area would have drawn them east not west.


Yes if heading in a northerly direction, but would have drawn them west if heading in a southerly direction. It definitely suggests they were doing something wrong navigationally using a map and compass. Small errors over time add up to create big errors unless they are compensated for.

After looking at the Mag declination in the area, moving approx 50 miles west of Calgary the Mag declination itself moves a quite considerable 0.5 degrees. The nearer you get to the magnetic north pole the tricker it gets when using a compass for accurate navigation.

http://www.magnetic-declination.com/

The area looks like a wonderful area to get lost though.


Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (08/22/11 05:51 PM)

Top
#230263 - 08/22/11 05:32 PM Re: Three Hikers Lost for 3 days [Re: BruceZed]
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
From what I can gather, I think the hike they were on is well known, but can be hard to navigate and requires are certain amount of route finding ability.

This has brought up something I've been wondering about. Which is the more critical piece of kit: the GPS or the PLB?

I am thinking about my situation particularly, I'd have the appropriate map & compass and some basic skills, but not a whole lot of experience with them. Granted, in the near term I'd be sticking to fairly well known areas, but arguably these women were as well.

So, given that, what would be the priority in acquiring new gear? The GPS which should help us stay found or the PLB which would allow us to eliminate the search part if we do become lost and are overdue.

Thoughts?
_________________________
Victory awaits him who has everything in order luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

Top
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 >



Moderator:  Alan_Romania, Blast, cliff, Hikin_Jim 
July
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
0 registered (), 211 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
SkiSoloII, RaymondRussell24, KMNPack, NickChurick, Willie
5290 Registered Users
Newest Posts
Area 51
by haertig
25 minutes 50 seconds ago
Big bag or small bag? (edc)
by teacher
54 minutes 36 seconds ago
How do you update your first aid kit?
by BruceZed
Today at 01:25 PM
Summer car prep
by haertig
Yesterday at 11:03 PM
One liter stainless steel cup?
by teacher
Yesterday at 09:26 PM
EDC for formal occasions
by teacher
Yesterday at 09:22 PM
The Best Thing Since Doug Ritter's PSP?
by Jeanette_Isabelle
07/20/19 08:46 PM
2 strand long MWK - lanyard, zipper pull, etc
by TonyE
07/18/19 08:03 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.