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gravelroad
distinguished member (347)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/20/2020 06:10PM
“For the second time in four days, a beleaguered camper in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has used a satellite SOS device to call for help after facing unseasonably cold, snowy conditions and a lake that was forming ice.

“The as-yet-unidentified paddler used a Garmin device to summon help on Tuesday after being overcome by conditions on Lake One in the BWCAW, northeast of Ely, according to Drew Brocket, a manager at Piragis Northwoods Outfitters in Ely.

“The Lake County Rescue Squad retrieved the man Tuesday afternoon, unharmed but cold, Brocket said.

“The man had rented his gear and was encouraged by staff at the outfitter to take the SOS device on the solo trip.

“On Saturday an Indiana man used the same type of device to summon help after being overwhelmed by winter-like conditions — snow, ice and temperatures in the 20s — while he camped on Nina-Moose Lake. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and St. Louis County Rescue Squad crews responded, arriving in the dark to find the man severely hypothermic. They warmed the man and took him out of the wilderness to safety, saying it was unlikely he could have survived the night if help hadn’t arrived.

“Officials from the Superior National Forest on Tuesday urged would-be paddlers and campers to heed current winter weather warnings as lakes in the area are freezing up several weeks ahead of normal and with heavy snow falling.

“‘Several smaller lakes have ½ to 1 inch of ice forming and visitors have been caught ill-prepared while paddling in rapidly forming ice,’ the agency said in a statement. ‘To prevent unnecessary search and rescue, the Superior National Forest reminds visitors to plan ahead and be prepared for a wide variety of conditions like ice, snow, and hail. Conditions can change rapidly and without warning. In some cases, adjusting outdoor recreation plans is the best course of action.’” Another BWCAW camper uses SOS device for rescue
 
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10/20/2020 06:57PM
Thanks for posting this. I hope this isn't a continuing sign of inexperienced folks going out into the BW and facing a much harsher environment than they expected.

My second thought is that aren't we lucky to live in a time where we have the technology to reach out for help when we really need it?
 
Porkeater
senior member (99)senior membersenior member
 
10/21/2020 08:47AM
Stranded on Lake One ???
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(13400)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
10/21/2020 10:49AM
I would question the outfitter for renting the guy the gear. Someone should have known better in my opinion. I realize we all are Monday morning quarterbacking here but come on. Every situation like this we can learn from other’s mistakes. Look at a weather forecast, print out a weather forecast before the trip, listen to a weather radio, call up a weather forecast on your InReach if it has that feature. He could have even sent a text message to others to get a weather forecast. Glad he is safe and glad we all have use of such great technology. Thanks to all of the people involved with his rescue and evacuation. They are true hero’s.
 
10/21/2020 11:16AM
Porkeater: "Stranded on Lake One ???"

Right?
 
smoke11
distinguished member (196)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/21/2020 12:37PM
Wow!
 
10/21/2020 03:07PM
 
GeoFisher
distinguished member(1542)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/21/2020 05:04PM
Very soon.....maybe before next season, we will have REAL numbers for the costs of rescues.

This stuff is not cheap, and there are cases where if airborne assets are needed, the cost can skyrocket.

SAD, but that is where we are.........

:(
 
10/21/2020 07:50PM
Sad but....like it said, if the one wasn't found before morning he probably wouldn't have made it. Would I rather hear about a rescue due to technology or a death in the park? A rescue.

Both of these were on entry point lakes more or less.....unable to head back out?
 
Michwall2
distinguished member(968)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/21/2020 09:20PM
hexnymph: "Porkeater: "Stranded on Lake One ???"
Right?"

Hypothermia is a condition that can leave you beyond self-rescue before you know you are there. Is it a little shivering or are you hypothermic? When you have no one to talk to, how do you know you have reached the "umbles" (mumbles and stumbles) stage. It also does not take much core body temp lowering to negatively affect your decision making.

They mentioned in the article that the call came in during the afternoon, but when? Just before nightfall? Looking at a map, it looks like it could take a couple of hours to get out from some of the campsites on Lake One while paddling solo. How long to pack? How long to make the paddle back? Can you find the route in dusk or twilight? (Batteries don't last very long in the cold. Flashlights and headlamps can quickly become paperweights at those temps.) Especially if its your first trip and you are not familiar with the route? You are mentally challenged by a falling body temp? Do you make the attempt and get really lost before activating the PLB? Or stay at a known site where SAR can make a rational guess at your whereabouts? I don't know the area at all, but is there any chance that if he missed a turn or portage end he could get sucked into a rapids or over a falls?

The SAR literature is full of victims/people who struck out at the wrong time to try to get out, get even more lost (turned around), and end up miles from where they thought they were going. No-one knew they were there and weren't even thinking of looking in that direction.

 
10/22/2020 07:21AM
I am glad this person and the other one rescued on Nina Moose are okay.

I am not trying to judge decisions, but in both cases the rescuers or the rescued seem to be saying the person rescued wouldn’t have survived the night?

What are the conditions causing this? I guess my assumption is if you have a good sleeping pad/bag and you are in a tent shouldn’t you be able to hunker down and stay warm? Was there so much snow they were getting buried? I know the 1st guy had what sounds like cheap gloves but still couldn’t he of hunkered down in the bag/tent to warm up his hands—-sounds like he was close to hypothermia when rescuers arrived?

Maybe we don’t know the details so it cannot be answered?

Those of you who have been up there this time of year any comments on how to survive weather like this? Once again I don’t mean this as judgement on those being rescued more of curiosity and learning for myself if I am in this situation?

T
 
Porkeater
senior member (99)senior membersenior member
 
10/22/2020 09:56AM
Savage Voyageur: "I would question the outfitter for renting the guy the gear. Someone should have known better in my opinion. I realize we all are Monday morning quarterbacking here but come on. Every situation like this we can learn from other’s mistakes. Look at a weather forecast, print out a weather forecast before the trip, listen to a weather radio, call up a weather forecast on your InReach if it has that feature. He could have even sent a text message to others to get a weather forecast. Glad he is safe and glad we all have use of such great technology. Thanks to all of the people involved with his rescue and evacuation. They are true hero’s. "

I agree. Good point about the weather availability with the InReach. I forgot about that. Fortunately, I'm guessing the Lake One rescue was not too taxing on resources.

Stranded without help
 
10/22/2020 10:52AM
timatkn: "
What are the conditions causing this?

Those of you who have been up there this time of year any comments on how to survive weather like this? Once again I don’t mean this as judgement on those being rescued more of curiosity and learning for myself if I am in this situation?

T"
Good questions timatkn!
What are the conditions causing this? The combination of three things- cold temperatures, precipitation, and wind. Temperature being the most important and easy to plan for. Being out on the open water when it is near or below freezing...that's chilly! Add just a little bit of precipitation that gets your clothing/skin wet and/or add a little bit of wind....brrrr! I was in it last weekend and I was mostly warm, sometimes chilly, and when I'd go "brrrr" it was time make a decision.

How to survive (I think of it as enjoy) weather like this? Decision making and ability. No way I can tell anyone over the internet how to get these right. A warm fire will overcome a lack of either of these...but one has to be able to make a warm fire when your fingers are numb, your campsite wood supply has been picked over for decades, it's cold out, winds blowing, and it's snowing or raining.
 
10/22/2020 10:55AM
timatkn: "I am glad this person and the other one rescued on Nina Moose are okay.


I am not trying to judge decisions, but in both cases the rescuers or the rescued seem to be saying the person rescued wouldn’t have survived the night?


What are the conditions causing this? I guess my assumption is if you have a good sleeping pad/bag and you are in a tent shouldn’t you be able to hunker down and stay warm? Was there so much snow they were getting buried? I know the 1st guy had what sounds like cheap gloves but still couldn’t he of hunkered down in the bag/tent to warm up his hands—-sounds like he was close to hypothermia when rescuers arrived?


Maybe we don’t know the details so it cannot be answered?


Those of you who have been up there this time of year any comments on how to survive weather like this? Once again I don’t mean this as judgement on those being rescued more of curiosity and learning for myself if I am in this situation?


T"


I think this is a product of getting wet and having decreased mental capacity due to hypothermia. Put yourself in their shoes, you are out there in the sleet and snow, your warmer clothes are soaked and you are trying to warm up by the fire but you are still getting colder. The smart move would probably be to strip down in the tent, put on anything dry you might have, and get in your sleeping bag.

That first step is the hurtle that some people can't get over. Maybe they are too cold and don't think they can survive undressing. Maybe they are too wet and think that they can't go in the tent without getting everything else wet too and undressing out in the open is too much for them. Or maybe they aren't thinking right at that point and can't motivate themselves to trade the warm fire for a cold sleeping bag. It's a slippery slope when you are getting colder and keep thinking that a little longer by the fire is going to dry you out or warm you up a bit more so you can brave the cold and make it to your tent. It's that wet snow that is dangerous and saps the heat from your body in ways that just rain or dry snow wouldn't.
 
straighthairedcurly
distinguished member(708)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/22/2020 06:49PM
I suspect it is dealing with the combination of the cold and WET conditions. When we were up there last weekend, the snow was really, really wet. I have winter camped and it is much easier to stay warm in true winter conditions than in the shoulder season slop that came down last weekend. My son who never gets cold in winter commented that he realized on this trip that he would have been in serious condition if we had not had a warm cabin to return to after our day trip to Rose Falls.
 
dasunt
senior member (60)senior membersenior member
 
10/22/2020 10:42PM
straighthairedcurly: "I suspect it is dealing with the combination of the cold and WET conditions. When we were up there last weekend, the snow was really, really wet. I have winter camped and it is much easier to stay warm in true winter conditions than in the shoulder season slop that came down last weekend. My son who never gets cold in winter commented that he realized on this trip that he would have been in serious condition if we had not had a warm cabin to return to after our day trip to Rose Falls."

Agreed. If you are being active in winter, it takes barely anything to stay warm - mostly a thermal layer and a thin windbreaker is good for even below 0F.

But getting wet at even 30F is dangerous.
 
10/23/2020 06:53AM
Thanks for the info/thoughts everyone!

T
 
WIMike
distinguished member (150)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/23/2020 12:23PM
I'm a firm believer in taking my Garmin Inreach Explorer whenever I hike/backpack/canoe/adventure whether I'm solo or with a group. Proper planning and preparation will keep me out of a lot of trouble but when things go south unexpectedly it's nice to know I have a security blanket. I understand that these two people will draw criticism but I give them credit for realizing the fix they were in and using the safety tool at their disposal to get help. I'm glad they're safe and I hope to hear their story so I can learn from their experience.
 
SevenofNine
distinguished member(2419)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/23/2020 01:16PM
timatkn: "Thanks for the info/thoughts everyone!

Agreed it is interesting to hear what people think or what they think they would do in a situation like this. My thoughts are that once people panic it is good for them to hit the rescue button because obviously they are unable to handle the situation. Do I wish they had been better prepared and not had to call rescue of course. Better they survive and not have their family wondering why they lost a loved one.
 
10/24/2020 02:17PM
 
Lailoken
distinguished member (141)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/24/2020 04:49PM


I am very glad that no lives were lost. I just paddled out on the 22nd of October and had to do a lot of ice breaking. I left a day or two later that should have and wondered why ice was pre-broken nicely to landing at Lake One. In a day or two, I think would have had to wait for a week or two for more of a freeze up, as the ice was already getting really hard to break through with my canoe, but not even close enough to walk one foot in canoe/one out of it across the ice. I had another 15 days of food on me for normal times, so could have rationed and gone longer if needed.

I do think that rescues should be billed to "client." I went late this year, looking for the end of the season, but have over 30 trips there, many solo, and winter camp. I knew was pushing limit, but knew my limits too. From the sounds of it one of these guys had summer gear and if on Lake One, there are not any portages to get stuck on. Paddling in on the 17th I heard a scared kayaker calling out in the then white out snow. I called back, paddled over, and paddled back up the channel towards the entry point with him as he was bit freaked out and wet, as he was just planning to quickly exit the lake and did not have anything water/snow proof on. I know we can't police everyone but should outfitters and the friendly LNT video also add a section on the fact that you are wilderness paddling?
 
Heyfritty
member (32)member
 
10/24/2020 09:22PM
Clearly he should have aborted the trip, either beforehand or when the snowfall became significant. I’m betting he had virtually no experience wilderness camping.

I was camping in Chippewa National Forest this week and it was virtually impossible to stay dry unless you were under cover. I’d much rather have temps in the low 20’s than the low 30’s. It’s so much easier to stay dry. I planned to stay through today, but came home yesterday. At least I had a few days in the wilderness. That’s never a bad thing.

Fritty
 
10/24/2020 10:11PM
Heyfritty: "Clearly he should have aborted the trip, either beforehand or when the snowfall became significant. I’m betting he had virtually no experience wilderness camping.


I was camping in Chippewa National Forest this week and it was virtually impossible to stay dry unless you were under cover. I’d much rather have temps in the low 20’s than the low 30’s. It’s so much easier to stay dry. I planned to stay through today, but came home yesterday. At least I had a few days in the wilderness. That’s never a bad thing.


Fritty"
I agree, been in situations where the snow comes down wet and clings to you. You better have the right equipment(much for many like me was learned by trial and error-any being lucky). Poor rain gear just won't do or the sub marginal tent and sleeping bag(cold weather camping I believe in a bag rating-the lower the better).
Often conditions creep up on you. You slowly get wetter by the moment and maybe you put yourself in the middle of a lake or something you can't control the outcome.
Sometimes many of us learn by dumb mistakes also. I hope the individual will be back and just a little smarter. Should outfitters realize maybe certain times of year we use a upgrade in quality of gear?
Some of these people dream of going into the wilderness, but don't realize possible situations that might occur. Yes a video or something to realize what to do if needed.
 
Flashback
distinguished member (153)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/25/2020 01:02AM
I think he needs to get a weather radio for a Christmas present, and use it before his next "adventure". I think he got himself into a situation way above his experience level.

I've been out in similar weather; stayed out many days longer then he did (21 days backpacking in Big Horn mountains of Wyoming).
Didn't call for a rescue. Didn't need a rescue.
In retrospect, a big flask of some high quality whiskey would have been nice to have.

BOB
 
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2679)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/25/2020 06:15AM
Michwall2: "hexnymph: "Porkeater: "Stranded on Lake One ???"



Right?"



Hypothermia is a condition that can leave you beyond self-rescue before you know you are there. Is it a little shivering or are you hypothermic? When you have no one to talk to, how do you know you have reached the "umbles" (mumbles and stumbles) stage. It also does not take much core body temp lowering to negatively affect your decision making.


They mentioned in the article that the call came in during the afternoon, but when? Just before nightfall? Looking at a map, it looks like it could take a couple of hours to get out from some of the campsites on Lake One while paddling solo. How long to pack? How long to make the paddle back? Can you find the route in dusk or twilight? (Batteries don't last very long in the cold. Flashlights and headlamps can quickly become paperweights at those temps.) Especially if its your first trip and you are not familiar with the route? You are mentally challenged by a falling body temp? Do you make the attempt and get really lost before activating the PLB? Or stay at a known site where SAR can make a rational guess at your whereabouts? I don't know the area at all, but is there any chance that if he missed a turn or portage end he could get sucked into a rapids or over a falls?


The SAR literature is full of victims/people who struck out at the wrong time to try to get out, get even more lost (turned around), and end up miles from where they thought they were going. No-one knew they were there and weren't even thinking of looking in that direction.


"

That's some outstanding insight, Michwall2.
 
WIMike
distinguished member (150)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/25/2020 07:19AM
Flashback: "I think he needs to get a weather radio for a Christmas present, and use it before his next "adventure". I think he got himself into a situation way above his experience level.


I've been out in similar weather; stayed out many days longer then he did (21 days backpacking in Big Horn mountains of Wyoming).
Didn't call for a rescue. Didn't need a rescue.
In retrospect, a big flask of some high quality whiskey would have been nice to have.


BOB"


Whiskey, or alcohol of any type, is just about the last thing a person should consume when faced with hypothermic conditions. Not sure why the myth that alcohol warms a person still persists, it was debunked years ago.

In the aviation world they talk about a chain of events that leads to mishaps. The chain links can be decisions, actions, weather events, mechanical failures, etc. The mishap could have been prevented if any one link had been different. Same thing in these two scenarios. Those of us who have spent significant time outdoors have probably been started on a chain of events that could have lead to catastrophe but one link was broken, either through good judgement or just plain good luck, and we were fine. Maybe we never knew how close to catastrophe we were.

The notion that emergency beacons and InReach devices are making explorers take risky chances is like saying seat belts and air bags are causing drivers to drive recklessly. I highly doubt anyone thinks “I shouldn’t really do this but I have an InReach so I’m going to go for it.” And even if there is a tiny percentage who do think that way, is the suggestion being made that we should do away with the InReach (or seat belts/air bags)??

I think Michwall2 pretty much nails it. Judgement deteriorates when stressed. Monday morning quarterbacking is easy, making good decisions when hypothermic, injured, suffering heat stroke, dehydrated, etc isn’t quite as easy. I give these two individuals credit for understanding their situation and using the tools at their disposal to get themselves out of trouble. I’d like to hear their stories. Perhaps by reading about their chain of events I can recognize when I’m traveling a similar chain and can find a way to break one of the links and avoid using my InReach...or worse.
 
mschi772
distinguished member (475)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/25/2020 09:53AM
There is *never* going to be a situation where someone activates a PLB that can't be looked at in hindsight and dissected for ways it could have been prevented. I'm all for learning from others' mistakes, but I'm supremely disappointed in how quickly some in this community are to jump on the chance to ridicule and condescend others. It makes me wonder what those people think a PLB is for in the first place if the actual use of one is an act deserving of such callous judgement. The messageboard here is *much* better behaved than the Facebook group, but that doesn't change the fact that these events and people's responses to them have had a noticeably negative impact on my opinion of the BWCA community.

And to those who say that the financial burden of rescue should lie with the rescued instead of the socialized funding we have now. (Fun sidenote, it is estimated that the SAR operations as of 2009 that the NPS pays for to rescue visitors of its parks only costs about 1.5 cents per park visitor.) If that were ever to become the case, knowing how financially ruinous the costs of rescue must be given the utterly crippling costs of literally everything emergency/healthcare-related in America, I would be 100's of times less likely to use my PLB in a situation I should with the knowledge that I would be completely destroyed by the cost of it. Heck, I'd likely not carry a PLB at all on many/most trips if that were the case. I'm sure I'm not alone.
 
Michwall2
distinguished member(968)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/25/2020 11:15AM
Lailoken: "

I know we can't police everyone but should outfitters and the friendly LNT video also add a section on the fact that you are wilderness paddling? "


The friendly LNT video does already point out (with canoes passing by in the rain) that travelers need to be prepared and dressed for all kinds of weather. Perhaps that section should be canoes in the snow?

I seldom travel the shoulder seasons of the BWCA, but the coldest I have been was the second trip we made to the BW where the temp dropped to about freezing in the second week of August. You don't have to be there in October to have life threatening conditions.
 
Michwall2
distinguished member(968)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/25/2020 11:32AM
dasunt: "straighthairedcurly: "I suspect it is dealing with the combination of the cold and WET conditions. When we were up there last weekend, the snow was really, really wet. I have winter camped and it is much easier to stay warm in true winter conditions than in the shoulder season slop that came down last weekend. My son who never gets cold in winter commented that he realized on this trip that he would have been in serious condition if we had not had a warm cabin to return to after our day trip to Rose Falls."


Agreed. If you are being active in winter, it takes barely anything to stay warm - mostly a thermal layer and a thin windbreaker is good for even below 0F.


But getting wet at even 30F is dangerous."


Wet at temps in the 50's can cause hypothermia.
 
Flashback
distinguished member (153)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/25/2020 11:51AM
No whiskey was consumed on my trip in the Big Horn Mountains.

I was attending the 21 day Outdoor Educators course at the National Outdoor Leadership School, based in Lander Wyoming.
Our packs(average weight was 75 lbs) were checked by instructors prior to our trip. All unnecessary/forbidden items (whiskey) would have been removed. It was never "seriously" considered anyway.
I have little doubt that the weather we encountered was more severe than the individuals who were rescued. At times we were hiking through nearly knee deep snow, and overnight it snowed another 10 inches. We hiked that day too.

No hypothermia.
No rescue needed.
No In Reach activated; none were available then.

The difference; we were trained, and properly prepared.
Nobody can convince me that those who were rescued had training, and were properly prepared.
Good thing an In Reach was available to them.
Proper preparation would likely have negated the need for it's use.

BOB
 
10/25/2020 04:02PM
Lailoken: "


I am very glad that no lives were lost. I just paddled out on the 22nd of October and had to do a lot of ice breaking. I left a day or two later that should have and wondered why ice was pre-broken nicely to landing at Lake One. In a day or two, I think would have had to wait for a week or two for more of a freeze up, as the ice was already getting really hard to break through with my canoe, but not even close enough to walk one foot in canoe/one out of it across the ice. I had another 15 days of food on me for normal times, so could have rationed and gone longer if needed....."


First off, that is just a fantastic photo!

Just out of curiosity, how did you break through that ice? Did you sit in the front of the boat and whack at it, or were you able to paddle up onto it and have it break by your weight?
 
WIMike
distinguished member (150)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/25/2020 07:16PM
Flashback, I agree training helps although plenty of people learn by doing and get by just fine. I remember going through Air Force survival training in the mountains north of Spokane, WA in January. We were out for 4 days with not much more than we would have if we were shot down. Basically our flight suits and coat and whatever gear we stuffed in our pockets (fire starter, granola bars, compass, etc). They did let us have 2 sleeping bags since it was cold (32 below one night, yes, -32, and not much warmer the other 2) and a pair of wooden snowshoes since there was better than 5 feet of snow (was taught to avoid walking near small trees since falling down through the buried limbs was a threat). We also had 2 one quart plastic canteens and a rain poncho. The canteens froze quickly, even inside our sleeping bags. The poncho helped make the pine bough shelters we built just a little warmer. I would have loved to have 75 pounds of gear but we had what we had and we learned to survive with what we had. And we didn’t have the option of staying in one place and waiting for rescue. We had to orienteer using a map and compass to get to an imaginary pick up point where a helicopter could rescue us. Much of what I learned is still valuable today though I hope to never have to use some of those skills. Perhaps the most important lesson I learned is that despite my best laid plans things can go wrong. Things out of my control. Then it’s time to remain calm, analyze, use good judgement and take action. As I mentioned I hope to hear the story from these two events, not so I can judge someone but so I can learn from others.
 
Lailoken
distinguished member (141)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/26/2020 10:51AM
Just out of curiosity, how did you break through that ice? Did you sit in the front of the boat and whack at it, or were you able to paddle up onto it and have it break by your weight? "

On the first pond hit, just paddled hard onto the ice and rocked back and forth. It damaged the gell coat on the canoe and shredded paddle as the sharp edges of the ice cut. On the second pond, decided to put all the weight in back of canoe - that is the one in the photo, and was easier to get canoe up on ice, then would shift weight forward, rocking back and forth, to break through.
 
10/26/2020 11:10AM
I do know once the ice gets thick enough your canoe rides up on it is a disaster waiting to happen, it gets very tippy Yes I have broke ice when it is just thick enough it breaks as you go forward. Otherwise it is scary.
 
Flashback
distinguished member (153)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/26/2020 12:45PM
I can relate to what you're saying WIMike; having been through survival training while attending the US Army's 6 week, Non Commissioned Officer's Academy at Fort Lewis Washington. We were turned loose in a national forest in the middle of the night with "minimal" gear.
We used map and compass to reach a specific point.
We were out for 3 days; it rained & spit snow every day.
No rescues necessary.

Also attended Survival, Escape, and Evasion course at Fort Ord, California prior to the 2nd of my 3 tours in Viet Nam.
In Reach not available then; no rescues necessary.
Not putting down In Reach; great piece of equipment in my opinion.

I'm still extremely curious about the physical condition, the training and/or experience, and the preparedness and decision making skills of those who had to be rescued.
Something I would really like to know; what equipment was the last rescuee using/wearing???
Specifically raingear; did he have even have a rain jacket, and rain pants, what quality were they? I'm betting cheap, if he even had any.
Did he have a quality tent, or a 45 dollar/ 2 man tent he picked up at Wally World the day before the trip? Or a leaky, 15 year old, never seam sealed tent, that had been stored in the shed out back for the last 7 years?
Did he have clothing suitable for the weather he would likely encounter? I'm sure he could have known what was possibly in store for him; if he had simply listened to a readily available weather forecast?
What type of sleeping bag was he using? What temp. was it rated for 40 degrees?
30,20,10 degrees? I'm betting it wasn't a quality sleeping bag; rated at maybe 40 degrees at best.

The answers will likely never be know. The rescue team will likely only offer generalities due to protocol. Unlikely, that the person rescued will be describing his gear. Likely he'll duck and cover.

In early Spring next year, or later this year, the same scenario will likely be played out again. The same conversation will ensue here.

BOB
 
GickFirk22
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10/26/2020 03:49PM
I solo camped Monday - Saturday last week. It was snowy, wet, a little windy at times, VERY humid and colder than I had wished for when I picked these dates 4 months ago :). I knew all of that going in and prepared accordingly. I wore proper layers that I had tons of confidence in and brought an extra set of raingear as I expected mine to get soaked through, which it did. I packed a little heavy as I chose to not have to do any portaging (and a buddy was supposed to join me but he bailed the day I left). I added an extra 500 calories to my days, mentally prepared for some "type B fun" conditions, and also fully prepared to bail if perimeter ice started forming. And I had an absolute blast. Got out and fished and paddled for several hours every day. Made proper shelter and ensured I was ready with a fire when necessary by having (dry) kindling, birch bark and split wood ready to hand. Read books fireside late into the night and slept like a baby in my hammock. Could've stayed another week! I don't say this to boast, but I'm grateful my experience lead me to make good decisions well before my trip started. I'm sad to hear about the folks who had to get rescued. Based on the info available, it appears they set themselves up to fail before they ever entered the wilderness to begin with. Tough lessons to learn.

 
Flashback
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10/26/2020 04:37PM
Good on you GickFirk22

Prepared for conditions expected
Used proper layering
Carried extra raingear
Added 500 extra calories of food per day
Kindling and wood pre split and ready to go
Mentally and physically prepared
Confident
Good decision making skills

What a difference some skills, and preparedness make..............

What a pleasure to hear from someone who "had their game together".

BOB
 
GickFirk22
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10/26/2020 08:50PM
Flashback: "Good on you GickFirk22


Prepared for conditions expected
Used proper layering
Carried extra raingear
Added 500 extra calories of food per day
Kindling and wood pre split and ready to go
Mentally and physically prepared
Confident
Good decision making skills


What a difference some skills, and preparedness make..............


What a pleasure to hear from someone who "had their game together".


BOB
"


Bob, even though I "had my game together" I still made a huge mistake. On Friday I had a late breakfast, drank some coffee, went on a long hike to gather some more wood, had a small snack and some water and then paddled 8-9(ish) miles chasing a pretty good bite while trolling...which kept me on the water until well past sunset and consequently got me pretty wet. So from noon(ish) to 7:30(ish) I consumed no calories or water...BIG mistake. As soon as I returned to camp I noticed I was headed in a bad way quick. Glad I had all the fixings of a fire ready to hand and some just-add-boiling-water meals to get warm quick. Took a bit as my hands weren't working well, but I got a fire a food going, switched to my dry layers and pounded some water and then some mint tea. It was very humbling and very educational. :)
 
MidwestFirecraft
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10/27/2020 06:53AM
mschi772: "If that were ever to become the case, knowing how financially ruinous the costs of rescue must be given the utterly crippling costs of literally everything emergency/healthcare-related in America, I would be 100's of times less likely to use my PLB in a situation I should with the knowledge that I would be completely destroyed by the cost of it. Heck, I'd likely not carry a PLB at all on many/most trips if that were the case. I'm sure I'm not alone."

I'm not saying this to be argumentative, but obviously come from a different view. This is exactly why I go out in the wilderness, to test my self. I would never attempt going without proper 3-4 season tent, wool, poly blend, Gore-Tex, clothing, etc. All clothes in their own dry bag, sleeping bag in a separate dry bag etc. I don't believe either of these men would have gotten themselves into this situation without a PBL or coms devise. Clearly they were unprepared.
It can happen to anyone, no question. But I agree with R.M Patterson when the R.C.M.P. shook hands with him and said, " if ever you're overdue or in any trouble up in those mountains of yours, don't count on the police sending out a patrol to look for you. After this solo trip of yours we'll just figure you're all right wherever you are, and that you'll show up sometime! Which was one of the greatest compliments I've ever had paid to me. -Dangerous River circa 1929
 
WIMike
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10/27/2020 07:45AM
MidwestFirecraft, “I don't believe either of these men would have gotten themselves into this situation without a PBL or coms devise.”

I’m curious how you came to this conclusion. In essence what you’re saying is that as they packed they thought “I really should take better/more gear but I have an InReach to bail me out so I’m good.” I find it hard to believe people operate that way. I think people rely on their InReach for when they, or someone they meet, has a heart attack, breaks a leg or wraps their canoe around a rock in a river. I use mine to keep my wife updated, to get weather updates, for some basic navigation and as a way to contact an outfitter if I’m not going to meet a specified pickup time. And I have it if I need it for an emergency. Perhaps I’m wrong but I don’t think people get careless just because they have an InReach.
 
missmolly
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10/27/2020 07:47AM
I paddled the length of the Mississippi River starting on September 14th. I did the same trip an earlier summer and managed 50-mile days, but with the shortening days of that fall, about 30 miles was the most I could muster. That meant it took a month to reach the Twin Cities and the winter chased me all the way south with some seriously blustery days along the way. Some days, like the one at Stockholm, Wisconsin, I was pinned to the shore for a day. I wore a wet suit with neoprene gloves, but many evenings, my fingers were too cold to work and I'd erect my tent with the heels of my hands.

My point is that the right equipment can only insulate you so much from weather. Then, if equipment breaks, like it did one time when a tugboat's wave broke on me and cracked my kayak or another time when three months of squeezing dry bags into the wee opening of my kayak tore in an unseen hole in a dry bag, leaving me with a soaked sleeping bag that final night, all your paddling savvy and proper equipment don't mean a damn thing.

One more anecdote: I interviewed a world class explorer once and he had a deep humility about why he was alive still, while his wife and many friends/fellow adventurers were dead. He said that he wasn't the smartest or most skilled of the lot: simply the luckiest. This is a guy who helicoptered up to mountain tops to ski down and who kayaked around the Cape of Good Horn and many other perilous places.

I'm guessing BeaV shares that humility. BeaV told me of beaching his boat in high surf and being tossed. If his head hits a rock, BeaV would be gone, despite his high savvy and his backbone as big as a blue whale's. Same situation with BeaV being pinned to a shoreline he shared with evermore bears. It does take some luck to survive.
 
WIMike
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10/27/2020 10:28AM
missmolly: "I paddled the length of the Mississippi River starting on September 14th. I did the same trip an earlier summer and managed 50-mile days, but with the shortening days of that fall, about 30 miles was the most I could muster. That meant it took a month to reach the Twin Cities and the winter chased me all the way south with some seriously blustery days along the way. Some days, like the one at Stockholm, Wisconsin, I was pinned to the shore for a day. I wore a wet suit with neoprene gloves, but many evenings, my fingers were too cold to work and I'd erect my tent with the heels of my hands.


My point is that the right equipment can only insulate you so much from weather. Then, if equipment breaks, like it did one time when a tugboat's wave broke on me and cracked my kayak or another time when three months of squeezing dry bags into the wee opening of my kayak tore in an unseen hole in a dry bag, leaving me with a soaked sleeping bag that final night, all your paddling savvy and proper equipment don't mean a damn thing.

One more anecdote: I interviewed a world class explorer once and he had a deep humility about why he was alive still, while his wife and many friends/fellow adventurers were dead. He said that he wasn't the smartest or most skilled of the lot: simply the luckiest. This is a guy who helicoptered up to mountain tops to ski down and who kayaked around the Cape of Good Horn and many other perilous places.

I'm guessing BeaV shares that humility. BeaV told me of beaching his boat in high surf and being tossed. If his head hits a rock, BeaV would be gone, despite his high savvy and his backbone as big as a blue whale's. Same situation with BeaV being pinned to a shoreline he shared with evermore bears. It does take some luck to survive. "


Fascinating story about paddling the Mississippi. My respect to you for doing that trip and doing it more than once.
I agree with you 100% that things can happen to anyone. There but for the grace of God go I.

 
GickFirk22
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10/27/2020 10:43AM
missmolly, I just need to say that I really appreciate your wit and your stories. If I'm ever in Maine I'd treat you to a beer/coffee/tea/whiskey just to hear about more of your adventures.

Totally agree with all your thoughts regarding the limitations of equipment and I really resonate with your thoughts on humility and luck. Was it Seneca that said, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity"? I think I heard of another philosopher that said something along the lines of "Luck is the residue of hard work". Being on those razor edge moments between survival and disaster and coming out on top is certainly lucky AND humbling. I've experienced this in my own adventuring, and leave with a deeper sense of gratitude for it all...the beauty and the danger.
 
MidwestFirecraft
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10/27/2020 05:29PM
WIMike: "I’m curious how you came to this conclusion. In essence what you’re saying is that as they packed they thought “I really should take better/more gear but I have an InReach to bail me out so I’m good.” I find it hard to believe people operate that way."

I came to that conclusion by my own experiences. I always make my kids take a coat, hat, gloves, etc. in the winter, even if the car is warm. They say I don't need it, if something happens I can just sit in the car while it runs or call for help. I find that to be consistent with most people, children and adults. If you have a safety net in your mind, you tend to be unprepared. I could be completely wrong, I don't know either of these men. What I do know is I would never willing go in mid to late October with the summer gear they had.
I am glad they were rescued and can return home to their families.
 
WIMike
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10/27/2020 06:05PM
MidwestFirecraft: "If you have a safety net in your mind, you tend to be unprepared. I could be completely wrong, I don't know either of these men. What I do know is I would never willing go in mid to late October with the summer gear they had. "

I don't know the specifics on what the two individuals were thinking as they packed either. Speaking in general though I look at it a little differently than you do. I think people conscientious enough to take an InReach might be MORE safety conscious rather than less. Would make an interesting study to find out whether they are or not.

I'm with you on taking a few extra precautions in the shoulder seasons. I sometimes get chided because of the extra water, one more layer of clothing than I need and the large first aid kit I take on backpacking trips. I might need rescue some day but it won't be because I didn't plan and prepare.
 
MidwestFirecraft
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10/27/2020 06:54PM
WIMike: " I might need rescue some day but it won't be because I didn't plan and prepare. "

That is the way I try and live!
 
WhiteWolf
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10/28/2020 05:06AM
Their is a meteorological fact as why 40F saturated air ( 100 humidity) "feels" colder than 0F and humidity of 100%. It's mixing ratios of said water vapor and how much is available to make you feel uncomfortable. At around 5C, a fully saturated air mass is shown in wet objects to actually remove more heat than same conditions and RH at 0F. Long math, but enough water vapor and even mild temps is what many are talking about in this thread.
 
10/29/2020 08:18PM
 
10/29/2020 08:18PM
 
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