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#78877 - 12/05/06 07:36 PM Re: James Kim: Snowbound Vehicle Info and Analysis
Malpaso Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/05
Posts: 817
Loc: MA
They should have watched this movie. Same place, virtually the same story.
It's not that life is so short, it's that you're dead for so long.

#78878 - 12/05/06 08:13 PM Re: James Kim: Snowbound Vehicle Info and Analysis
teacher Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/14/05
Posts: 988
I like the fact oriented analysis here.

A gps is a great solution, but $20 worth of food and a bunch of old winter jackets thrown in the car would have made the biggest difference. Nobody expects to get stranded or lost -- that's why its hard to think about preparing. 10 minutes planning makes a huge difference.


#78879 - 12/05/06 08:18 PM Re: James Kim: Snowbound Vehicle Info and Analysis
jmbrowning Offline
model citizen

Registered: 09/05/04
Posts: 19

Points of Interest on Kim Family travel

I'll note that a 406 MHz PLB would have gotten them rescued promptly.

I bought my GyPSI 406 PLB when the Missus and I went on a single vehicle roadtrip to Toroweap. It was one of the first manufactured (manu date 5/2003) and cost me $700 or $800 at REI.

We were prepared for nearly any contingency with food/water for a week, onboard welder, CO2 gas, winch/hi-lift/shovel, 10 meter radio with MARS/CAP mods, GPS/DeLorme Gazeteers/compasses and plenty of reading material. Toroweap was problem-free but we did snap a control arm bolt in Escalante that got replaced with a hemostat and bailing wire.

Now that we have a Dear Son (15 mo), our daring road trips have been curtailed to trips back and forth to a rural cabin and to major metropolitan centers (no longer fly due to the humiliation of removing shoes).

The GyPSI has been collecting dust for the most part as our trips are "easy". Having read this story, the GyPSI will be getting a Yellow Etrex (mostly travel in mountainous regions without WAAS availability) with attaching cable and will be accompanying us on ANY travel out of our immediate hometown.

I definitely will be getting the battery replaced in 2008.

Edited by jmbrowning (12/05/06 09:03 PM)
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

#78880 - 12/05/06 09:08 PM Re: James Kim: Snowbound Vehicle Info and Analysis
MartinFocazio Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2192
Loc: Bucks County PA
I think it's unrealistic to presume that you can't and won't deviate from a route unless you're flying a commercial jetliner. Travel involves exploration. That said, if you're in the mountains, in the winter, well, hey, it's good to be careful, but you can't get every contigency.

That's why I think the single best thing to buy in this case is a 406Mhz PLB.

Dollar for dollar worth more than all the gear you could possibly pack. If I was driving in a remote area, with no cell service, no ham radio, nothing at all, $2,000 worth of suplies would not equal the simple effectiveness of a PLB saying "Here I Am Come Get Me, Please"

heck, a satphone rental isn't that expensive either.

#78881 - 12/05/06 09:38 PM Re: James Kim: Snowbound Vehicle Info and Analysis
jmbrowning Offline
model citizen

Registered: 09/05/04
Posts: 19
More details:
  • Umbrella waved by Kati Kim had SOS spelled in reflective tape
  • Helicopter that located Kati Kim and two children was privately chartered by concerned family members
  • County officials had no choppers of their own for SAR. National Guard helicopters were available, but unknown if they were used in search attempts prior to discovery of Kati Kim.
  • County Sno-Cat's had searched the area where the woman and children were found.
  • Cellphone tower picked up ping from Kim cellphone at 0136 Nov. 26 which was used to concentrate search efforts
  • James Kim's kit included a cigarette lighter in addition to clothing and footwear mentioned above
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

#78882 - 12/05/06 09:53 PM Re: James Kim: Snowbound Vehicle Info and Analysis
Frankie Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 736
Loc: Montréal, Québec, Canada
Yes and it would make a big difference to throw in wool trousers with suspenders (no belt, to allow clothes to be worn loose at the waist so that neither circulation nor ventilation is restricted) tucked in decent broken-in boots, a blaze orange (why not) watch cap, gauntlet style mitts (doesn't have to be Gore-Tex). My point is that it's pretty obvious that you should pack a warm jacket or parka but if you're going to wear jeans and tennis shoes it's not consistent. Last week I saw a guy wearing a Canada Goose Expedition parka in the mall downtown (Montréal) and it was raining outside! But he was wearing fashion jeans and sneakers.


#78883 - 12/05/06 11:09 PM Re: James Kim: Snowbound Vehicle Info and Analysis
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5346
. . .or you could have a GPS receiver in the car so you don't miss the turn. I may eventually buy a 406 MHz PLB, but meanwhile I'll make due with staying on known roads, at least on roads known to my Garmin GPS. IMO, that first wrong turn was a major error in judgement.
Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
Okay, what’s your point??

#78884 - 12/06/06 12:42 AM Re: James Kim: Snowbound Vehicle Info and Analysis
Old_Scout Offline

Registered: 11/03/06
Posts: 95
Loc: Delaware
How right you are! In all the training I do for Scout leaders, High Adventure crews and everyday Scouts I stress one concept more than any other - don't move! DON'T move! DON"T MOVE! And here the tragedy (perhaps - I pray Jim is found - and soon!) is compunded. Because in spite of being poorly pre-pared - this family did remarkably well. They did many things right - given their tough circumstances. But like most human tragedies there was one, critical error. That's the human condition and we must train to overcome it. I tell those I train that applying all the knowledge you gain - except one important piece (and it could be any one of any thousand) - and you're dead! THINK - THINK - THINK! Your greatest danger comes when you stop thinking and applying all the knowledge you have. Nuff said. Pray for Jim.
See 'Ya Down the Trail,
Mike McGrath

"Be Prepared" "For what?" "Why, any old thing!" B-P

#78885 - 12/06/06 01:01 AM Re: James Kim: Snowbound Vehicle Info and Analysis
north_of_north Offline

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 22
Loc: Gunflint Trail, Minnesota, USA
To be clear, the wise advice to stay put was followed for over one week before he headed out alone to try to save his family.

Sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. Hindsight is always 20-20. I hope they find him soon.

#78886 - 12/06/06 01:13 AM Re: James Kim: Snowbound Vehicle Info and Analysis
oldsoldier Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 742
Loc: MA
I too pray he is found alive. I think we all here can agree that, decisions made, viewing it in the present, may seem irrational to us, but may have been seen as their only hope for rescue. I agree 100% that he shouldve stayed on the road. However, I think that he did what he felt was the only thing he COULD do to save his family. Unfortunately, it may have been a poor one. I am not a praying person at all, but, I sincerely hope that he is found alive. I Dont know which decision would be worse; watching your family slowly die in front of you, or attempting to find help, leaving your loved ones behind, with the very real chance of never seeing them again. A hard decision, to say the least.
All that being said, I carry a ruck in my jeep with enough gear to walk out, if needed. Winter time, I put in a Wiggy's bivy suit (Brit puffy synthetic jacket, pants, & hood), a goretex bivy sack, a box of granola bars, and a Z-rest, as well as my PSK, which is usually in there. Granted, this enhanced kit is specialized for winter; I wear a suit to work, and, given the wonderful new england weather, it is not ideal for a "I ran into a snowbank in a blizzard 10 miles from home" type of situation.
my adventures

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