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#290033 - 07/25/18 12:45 PM Man Survives Four Days Lost in the Mountains with
Doug_Ritter Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 1959
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#290034 - 07/25/18 02:01 PM Re: Man Survives Four Days Lost in the Mountains with [Re: Doug_Ritter]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6583
Loc: southern Cal
Fascinating account, but color me skeptical. From the story itself, it is clear that his lighter was more important in his survival than his knife. And what would have kept this from happening at all would have been a topo map.

I am very familiar with the Santa Catalina Mountains, living in Tucson and Arizona from 1956 - 1985. The Cats are a wonderful retreat from the desert heat and usually very pleasant during the day in the fall. I have often hiked there, often solo, sleeping around an impromptu fire as described in the story,and I have participated in numerous SAR operations (probably over 100), some very short and some very long, requiring many overnight bivys.

His concern about bears was misdirected and overblown. To my knowledge, there been exactly one fatal bear encounter in the Catalinas since the 1950s, in contrast to many from falls and exposure (60 plus??). Black bears are usually no problem unless you are considered a food source. The standard advice for black bears, i believe, is to make yourself look big and make some noise. His spear might have helped in that effort.

If someone had known of his plans and notified Pima County SO, Southern Arizona Rescue Association would have been on the case, a search would have been mounted that evening, and he would have been located before dawn, especially with a going fire - that makes it very easy for searchers. I remember one where as we gathered to begin the operation, someone noticed a fire at a distance - let's check out that fire - problem solved - all safely tucked in bed that night.

As for the Buck 110? It is a very fine knife (I have one myself) and it might have been critical in an ursine encounter. His sharp stick would merely irritate Mr. Bear - it would not keep a motivated bear away.

Good story, wrong conclusion. Tell someone of your plans, maybe leave a note in your car.
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#290035 - 07/25/18 02:30 PM Re: Man Survives Four Days Lost in the Mountains with [Re: hikermor]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4915
Loc: SOCAL
Yeah, the story makes it seem like when he was done goofing around, he got serious about finding a way out.

I was more interested in the advertisement for the Benchmade 200 Puuko knife in the righthand column. A Puuko in 3V, that will be nice. Jury is out here regarding Benchmade’s use of a saber grind rather than the traditional Scandi grind.

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#290036 - 07/25/18 04:58 PM Re: Man Survives Four Days Lost in the Mountains with [Re: Doug_Ritter]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6583
Loc: southern Cal
Actually, a Swiss Army Knife was perfectly adequate for all the situations I encountered for many years, including those in Arizona. I went to a Leatherman simply because it included pliers, sometimes useful in technical climbing.
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#290037 - 07/25/18 07:17 PM Re: Man Survives Four Days Lost in the Mountains with [Re: hikermor]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4915
Loc: SOCAL
There’s a Leatherman Skeletool CX hanging on the front of my backpack w/ pliers and an okay knife if required, but there will always be at least one more folding knife.

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#290038 - 07/25/18 07:47 PM Re: Man Survives Four Days Lost in the Mountains with [Re: Doug_Ritter]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6583
Loc: southern Cal
Russ,why is your Skeletool CX so far away? Mine is in my right pants pocket, ready as I type this,to spring forth and perform good deeds....

The Skeletool is probably the very best multitool for most situations.
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#290039 - 07/25/18 08:11 PM Re: Man Survives Four Days Lost in the Mountains with [Re: hikermor]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4915
Loc: SOCAL
I never considered dropping the Skeletool in my pants pocket, but its corners are rounded and I can see that working well. I always felt the best way to carry was attaching the carabiner to one of my backpack’s D-rings. It’s always there when needed.

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#290044 - 07/26/18 01:15 AM Re: Man Survives Four Days Lost in the Mountains with [Re: Russ]
Doug_Ritter Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 1959
Originally Posted By: Russ
I always felt the best way to carry was attaching the carabiner to one of my backpack’s D-rings. It’s always there when needed.


I cannot tell you how may survival or unfortunately tragic non-survival tales or articles include loss of a backpack. Open pockets aren't perfect, but at least it is more likely to be with you.

Pouch on a belt or pockets with closures are best.
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Doug Ritter
Editor
Equipped To Survive®
Chairman & Executive Director
Equipped To Survive Foundation
www.KnifeRights.org
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#290048 - 07/26/18 01:14 PM Re: Man Survives Four Days Lost in the Mountains with [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Montanero Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1404
Loc: North Carolina
We had such a philosophy in the military:

Line 1 gear: What you need to survive, on your person

Line 2 gear: What you need to fight, in your web gear

Line 3 gear: Everything else in your rucksack

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#290052 - 07/26/18 03:09 PM Re: Man Survives Four Days Lost in the Mountains with [Re: Doug_Ritter]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6583
Loc: southern Cal
Interesting problem: What is the most secure location for critical items? Nothing is completely foolproof. I am on my second Skeletool CX, one having strayed during a field project two years ago, and that was normally carried on my person....So, stuff happens....

Losing a backpack is the sign of an inexperienced amateur. Your pack should be on your back, primarily, but never out of reach until you are in camp, and then always handy. One learns this soon enough, sometimes the hard way....

I remember one rescue, in the Santa Catalinas, as it happened, in which the group set out and encountered adverse weather. Freaked out, they started running through the forest, discarding items from their packs (!!). This stopped when one of them crunched an ankle, which eventually initiated a rescue operation. Arriving on scene, we were relieved to see that they still had some of their essentials, including tents and bongs (gotta keep your priorities straight). We got them off the hill eventually....
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