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#264843 - 11/05/13 09:45 PM Re: He survived 3 months in northern Québec. [Re: dougwalkabout]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1113
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: dougwalkabout
Glad to see more detailed information (and hopefully less frothing at the mouth).
Amen to that doug.

People need to remember the distinction between "could have" and "should have". The first is a simple observation. The second is a value judgement. Different people can make very different value judgements.

Yes, he "could have" had a "Plan B" and carried a PLB, and that "might have" made a big difference. Or then again maybe it might not have helped. What if when the bear "....damaged some of his equipment and stole his food bag" it also damaged his PLB? Maybe he "should have" had a Plan C, and carried a sat phone as a back up? But wait, a sat phone, like any electronic device, can fail when you need it most. So maybe he "should have" also had a Plan D as a back up to his back up, and also carried a spot?

Or maybe he "should (not) have" attemped such a trip with only a dog as his only companion? I can point to lots of books by armchair experts that say you always "should" go in a party of 4. That way if someone gets hurt, one can stay with the injured guy and two (for safety) can go for help.

Or maybe he just "should have" not done the trip at all? Instead he "should have" just layed in a good supply of beer and chips and dog biscuits, and stayed on his couch watching Bear Grylls on TV, with his dog curled up at his feet?

Personally, I appaud his cojones for even attempting such a trip alone except for a dog! And I admire his guts for managing to survive for so long after he had some bad luck! That's my 2 cents.
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#264844 - 11/05/13 10:21 PM Re: He survived 3 months in northern Québec. [Re: Colourful]
TeacherRO Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2326
My thought is that a simple $300 PLB purchase would have changed the outcome...its simple and easy.

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#264847 - 11/06/13 01:00 AM Re: He survived 3 months in northern Québec. [Re: Colourful]
JBMat Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 745
Loc: NC
Even after reading the extended version, I think this guy had more cojones than brain cells. I've been told quite often - "there's a fine line between hard core and stupid". He passed the line in a dead sprint.

He knew what was in back of him and before him. In 10 cases of 10, I will take what I know over the unknown. Turning around was a major option, he knew the terrain he had already traversed. Continuing on into "unknown" territory, I say unknown as no terrain is truly known, it always varies, was not a wise option.

I agree, a PLB, SPOT, whatever radio, would have changed this from a brink of death rescue to a "Hey guys, come get me, I'm semi-messed up".

I don't care about his skills, his drive, his determination - he made a bad decision imho. And I am still outraged he ate his dog.

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#264848 - 11/06/13 01:18 AM Re: He survived 3 months in northern Québec. [Re: JBMat]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1113
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: JBMat
He knew what was in back of him and before him. In 10 cases of 10, I will take what I know over the unknown. Turning around was a major option, he knew the terrain he had already traversed. Continuing on into "unknown" territory, I say unknown as no terrain is truly known, it always varies, was not a wise option.
One small point JB. This was a river trip. Apparently a big, fast river. Paddle upstream....?....I don't think so.

His choices were to either complete the trip, or get rescued.


Edited by AKSAR (11/06/13 01:27 AM)
Edit Reason: typo
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#264849 - 11/06/13 04:06 AM Re: He survived 3 months in northern Québec. [Re: Colourful]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2719
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Aside:

I'm wondering about the long-term effects and recovery prospects after being so severely malnourished. Anybody have good information on this?

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#264850 - 11/06/13 04:17 AM Re: He survived 3 months in northern Québec. [Re: Colourful]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1347
I'm not sure he's allowed to stay a Canadian - if he actually left the Great White North just because he was feeling a little peckish. Don't they have some kinda' law against that?

Seems like he should have just hummed a few bars from the "Jeremiah Johnson" theme song, married an Inuit woman so he could stay warm at night, and trapped a few beaver in his spare time.

And as for eatin' the poor dog's liver .... ohhhhh Lordy, Lordy. I hope he soaked it Yukon Jack and served it flambe.

Pete2


Edited by Pete (11/06/13 04:18 AM)

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#264852 - 11/06/13 05:20 AM Re: He survived 3 months in northern Québec. [Re: Colourful]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2155
Loc: Great Plains
I don't think critiquing his case is tantamount to 'bashing him' at all. There was a time when trainers considered it "bad form" to use cases of officers killed in the line of duty to teach, but that has changed. It seems to me that we should be dissecting this case, especially since he lived. That means he did some things right. Of course, it also looks like he was damned lucky!

The various articles I read claim he couldn't make a fire because "he ran out of matches." Bad, bad, BAD! Let's say for the sake of argument that the bear at his food and absconded with his matches. This is an excellent example of why you have certain stuff that you always carry on your body. How about a lighter in your pocket? How about a Ritter/AMK PSP? What kind of woodsman feels qualified to make a month-long trip alone yet doesn't know any other way to make a fire but matches? He had a firearm but apparently insufficient ammunition to rely on it for survival (again, without knowing for sure if the bear stole that, too).

Again, I don't think we're really dumping on the guy to point out the really epic mistakes he made. Hopefully it will help someone to avoid making those mistakes again. For me complacency is one of the silent dangers. This should be a wake up call for anyone planning a similar trip.

For my own part I am going to make an effort to make sure I have not only redundancy but on-body carry of some of that stuff. Fire gear in my pack but a lighter & firesteel in my pocket. A good sized knife and axe on/in my pack but a good folder or small fixed blade on my belt. Ammo for my sidearm (where I live I have a permit to CCW) but at least a spare mag on the weak side belt opposite the gun.
_________________________
“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

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#264859 - 11/06/13 02:36 PM Re: He survived 3 months in northern Québec. [Re: Phaedrus]
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
Originally Posted By: Phaedrus
This is an excellent example of why you have certain stuff that you always carry on your body.


I think that's one of the big takeaways from this case. Regarding PLBs it can be argued that 1) not everyone knows about them, 2) they're not dirt cheap and 3) they may violate some people's sensibilities regarding the wilderness experience.

OK fine, but if someone can tell me the wise woodsman's argument against carrying a firesteel in his pocket in addition to matches, I'm all ears.

One article mentions his boots and socks freezing solid overnight. Imagine the difference a fire would have (not could have) made. Think of the boreal forest with all the uncountable tons of downed wood & pine pitch...

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#264862 - 11/06/13 03:12 PM Re: He survived 3 months in northern Québec. [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4917
Loc: SOCAL
Originally Posted By: Glock-A-Roo
[quote=Phaedrus]... 3) they may violate some people's sensibilities regarding the wilderness experience. ...

Thinking that a small inconspicuous emergency beacon would somehow diminish a wilderness experience is a good indicator of a person who has "issues". I'm a child of the 50's and I carry a PLB any time I'm out and about. CANOEDOGS has a few more years than me and he carries one too. The PLB may be high tech and it may have taken rocket science to put the Cospas-Sarsat and GPS constellations into orbit, but deciding to carry a PLB was a no-brainer. It in no way diminishes the experience; that's just an excuse being used to justify an irrational position. My opinion, YMMV...

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#264867 - 11/06/13 04:20 PM Re: He survived 3 months in northern Québec. [Re: Colourful]
JPickett Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/03/12
Posts: 264
Loc: Missouri
I don't feel the need to comment on the PLB issue. As far as eating his dog? I don't think I could eat my dog; however I've never gone a week without food.

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