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#280825 - 05/28/16 02:20 AM Re: Backpacker dies 27 days after getting lost. [Re: Mark_R]
EMPnotImplyNuclear Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 374
Re: Backpacker dies 27 days after getting lost.


Hmm,
I think I'm beginning to see a lesson here,
go to the bathroom on the trail like bears do
that way you dont get lost
and you leave a sign

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#280826 - 05/28/16 05:48 AM Re: Backpacker dies 27 days after getting lost. [Re: EMPnotImplyNuclear]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2221
Loc: Colorado
Did I read this wrong? She left the trail to go to the bathroom ... and bushwhacked over 2 miles? She must have really cherished her privacy. I'm lucky if I make it ten feet before calling it good.

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#280827 - 05/28/16 06:02 AM Re: Backpacker dies 27 days after getting lost. [Re: Mark_R]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2921
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Come, gentlemen. Whatever the lady's failings, she has paid for them in full.

It is vulgar to speak ill of the dead. We are bigger than that.

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#280830 - 05/28/16 12:55 PM Re: Backpacker dies 27 days after getting lost. [Re: dougwalkabout]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2828
Loc: La-USA
I completely agree. It is also nekulturney to speak ill of the dead.
_________________________
QMC, USCG (Ret)
The best luck is what you make yourself!

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#280831 - 05/28/16 01:24 PM Re: Backpacker dies 27 days after getting lost. [Re: haertig]
bsmith Offline
day hiker
Addict

Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 589
Loc: ventura county, ca
Originally Posted By: haertig
Did I read this wrong? She left the trail to go to the bathroom ... and bushwhacked over 2 miles? She must have really cherished her privacy. I'm lucky if I make it ten feet before calling it good.

two thumbs up!
_________________________
“Everyone should have a horse. It is a great way to store meat without refrigeration. Just don’t ever get on one.”
- ponder's dad

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#280833 - 05/28/16 01:49 PM Re: Backpacker dies 27 days after getting lost. [Re: Mark_R]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
What a terrible combination of factors in this case. Sadly, it seems like something as simple as the "Hug a Tree" concept may have saved her: As soon as you know you are lost, stay put and blow on your whistle 3 times every few minutes until they find you, and find other ways to signal while you stay put. It seems like she'd been turned around many times before, and never stayed lost, so probably had an over-inflated confidence. Sometimes it's easy to confuse good luck with good judgement.

No judgement from me. I hope she found peace and hope her husband and hiking partner do to. I think we can find some take-aways though, to help ensure our own excursions have a happier ending:

Wear a whistle, secured to your person. All. The. Time. Even if you are the best land navigator in the world, there is always a chance of mechanical injury....

Stay on the trail, and if you are hiking with a partner, stay together. Our family rule is that we stay within sight, or at least shouting distance, even more so after reading the details of this story.

From what I understand, getting turned around on the AT is pretty easy, as it is on many trails. Dense brush, false trails, bad blazes. Combined with a poor sense of direction... it seems to me that she might have been wise to stack the deck more in her favour when it comes to navigation. You have to stay aware as you travel, but also self-aware and know your limits. Map, compass or basic orienteering skills are going to be brushed up on around here.

Likewise, it seems pretty common to put too much faith in GPS and other electronic devices. She forgot her SPOT in her hotel room. That might make me more inclined to stick to the trail, but I'd want some privacy for bathroom breaks too.

AT hikers, in particular, seem to embrace the camp stove, and hate the campfire, making it impossible for many of them to start a signal fire, Fire bans are very common, but knowing the basics could save your life.
_________________________
Mom & Adventurer

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#280837 - 05/28/16 04:56 PM Re: Backpacker dies 27 days after getting lost. [Re: bacpacjac]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
Originally Posted By: bacpacjac

AT hikers, in particular, seem to embrace the camp stove, and hate the campfire, making it impossible for many of them to start a signal fire, Fire bans are very common, but knowing the basics could save your life.


Excellent points. Fire making, especially in adverse conditions, seems to be a neglected skill nowadays. I'm sure the ease of using micro gas stoves combined with environmental concerns adds to that. At least 3 methods of fire starting (and some form of tinder) should be the minimum.

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#280840 - 05/28/16 06:38 PM Re: Backpacker dies 27 days after getting lost. [Re: Mark_R]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7371
Loc: southern Cal
In the 50s and 60s we routinely built campfires and became pretty good at the art Nowadays, canister stoves are vastly more convenient, as well as presently relatively fewer hazards. Now I rarely build a traditional wood fire, but I do try to keep in oractice
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#280842 - 05/28/16 09:40 PM Re: Backpacker dies 27 days after getting lost. [Re: LED]
gonewiththewind Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1517
Originally Posted By: LED
Originally Posted By: bacpacjac

AT hikers, in particular, seem to embrace the camp stove, and hate the campfire, making it impossible for many of them to start a signal fire, Fire bans are very common, but knowing the basics could save your life.


Excellent points. Fire making, especially in adverse conditions, seems to be a neglected skill nowadays. I'm sure the ease of using micro gas stoves combined with environmental concerns adds to that. At least 3 methods of fire starting (and some form of tinder) should be the minimum.


Just get a teenage boy scout to help you, they can set anything on fire!

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#280843 - 05/28/16 11:32 PM Re: Backpacker dies 27 days after getting lost. [Re: bacpacjac]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2221
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: bacpacjac
AT hikers, in particular, seem to embrace the camp stove, and hate the campfire, making it impossible for many of them to start a signal fire,

I would light the camp stove, and that becomes my tinder (and kindling to some extent). You could ignite some pretty heavy and damp stuff by using a camp stove as your "match". Lighting tinder in a damp environment with a ferro rod is a skill that has to be learned and practiced. Lighting it with a roaring camp stove, not so much.

Reminds me of a show a few years back - I forgot the name, it was about some special forces guys - and in one episode they crashed their helicopter and were stranded in a survival situation. In the foreground of the scene, they were busily at work with a fire bow trying to make a friction fire. In the background of the scene was the flaming helicopter. I think I would have lit my stuff using the readily available fire coming from the burning helicopter instead of messing around with a fire bow.

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