Tuscon hiker lost for 4 days on Mt. Lemmon

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chumley
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Tuscon hiker lost for 4 days on Mt. Lemmon

Post by chumley » Dec 01 2016 9:10 am

I always find it fascinating to read stories such as this one. The hiker recognizes mistakes made, and I ponder to myself how things might have gone differently for me, or if I would have made some of the same decisions along the way.

http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/3381 ... tting-lost

The entire story is worth reading, but a couple of highlights are quoted here:
After about 1 1/2 to 2 hours of going down the wrong side of the mountain, I realized that I was in really big trouble.
I was lost and would need to spend the night.
I had about 10 ounces of water left when I remembered another survival technique -- I would have to start drinking my own urine.

Eating prickly pear pads have a side effect of diarrhea, which I found out the next day. To borrow a line from the pharmaceutical industry -- ask your doctor if prickly pear pads and pee is right for you.

Having a sense of humor helps with positive mental attitude.
I was awakened by very vivid dream about myself in all my hiking gear walking slowly in a southwest direction towards myself. I believe that it is very rare to see yourself face to face in a dream.

Anyway, my thoughts were that it was a premonition of death, which I knew was highly probable in this situation.
Profound observer

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tibber
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Re: Tuscon hiker lost for 4 days on Mt. Lemmon

Post by tibber » Dec 01 2016 9:35 am

I was awakened by very vivid dream about myself in all my hiking gear walking slowly in a southwest direction towards myself. I believe that it is very rare to see yourself face to face in a dream.
Anyway, my thoughts were that it was a premonition of death, which I knew was highly probable in this situation.
very :scared: but fascinating!
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.

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friendofThundergod
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Re: Tuscon hiker lost for 4 days on Mt. Lemmon

Post by friendofThundergod » Dec 01 2016 9:48 am

That was a pretty interesting read, seems he generally did the right things...I do wonder about just how experienced he was in the outdoors though, as I can't imagine myself or any other outdoorsy people I know taking the time to build a spear to fend of black bears, we are not talking Montana Grizzlys here. It just seems to be a bit of a trivial task in the state of AZ, especially since he had no food to attract the bears and I can't recall too many stories of black bears openly attacking people in the wild without cause..But that being said, he made it and lived to tell his tale and one of the keys to survival is finding meaningful tasks and purposes, so although a trivial task, it may have been a good way to keep him busy and positive..
I noticed bear poop, many very large piles of it, all around the campsite....I tied the larger of my two knives to one of my ski poles
The below is the Army's acronym for survival so not entirely applicable, but he did generally stick to the principles...
S—SIZE UP THE SITUATION
U—USE ALL YOUR SENSES, UNDUE HASTE MAKES WASTE
R—REMEMBER WHERE YOU ARE
V—VANQUISH FEAR AND PANIC
I—IMPROVISE
V—VALUE LIVING
A—ACT LIKE THE NATIVES
L—LIVE BY YOUR WITS, BUT FOR NOW, LEARN BASIC SKILLS

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trekkin_gecko
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Re: Tuscon hiker lost for 4 days on Mt. Lemmon

Post by trekkin_gecko » Dec 01 2016 9:58 am

that's quite a story
remind me to never eat prickly pear
glad he made it out

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flagscott
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Re: Tuscon hiker lost for 4 days on Mt. Lemmon

Post by flagscott » Dec 01 2016 10:51 am

He isn't the first person to wander off the trail to poop and get lost. Things worked out much worse for this woman on the Appalachian trail: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/27/us/mi ... maine.html

So, what's the consensus among the S&R experts? Should you stay put if lost like this? Or try to walk your way out of the wilderness?

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KwaiChang
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Re: Tuscon hiker lost for 4 days on Mt. Lemmon

Post by KwaiChang » Dec 01 2016 12:08 pm

The bit where he was contemplating slicing his radial artery?!?!? :scared: :scared: :scared:

Holy Moly!!!! Thats no fun! So glad he isn't a statistic - I am a FB member for a Grand Canyon hiking website - holy smokes it is amazing how little people know about hiking in general let alone hiking in the Canyon.

No wonder that book just keeps growing and growing "Over the Edge - Death in the Grand Canyon"
Out of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most.....

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ALMAL
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Re: Tuscon hiker lost for 4 days on Mt. Lemmon

Post by ALMAL » Dec 01 2016 3:32 pm

:-k :-k :-k :-k
Hmmm, maybe I'm a natural skeptic, but I can totally see leaving your backpack in the car for a short 20 minute side hike.
But who takes 25 oz of water, 2 knives, a compass with mirror, 2 ski poles, trowel, and cordage on a 20 minute hike? I get the fishing vest with pockets, but would you then wear that later with your back pack? Jeans?
Something just isn't sounding right about this one.
You aren't late if you don't show up!

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cactuscat
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Re: Tuscon hiker lost for 4 days on Mt. Lemmon

Post by cactuscat » Dec 01 2016 5:08 pm

Hmmm ... yeah, seems like Tuesday and Wednesday were spent on the mountain unnecessarily since it wasn't that difficult for him to get out once he decided to on Thursday. Would have been that much easier on Tuesday.
Also I don't think I would have worried about food on the first day I was lost, unless there was something very convenient and known such as raspberries. What is it with people who think they need food the minute they are lost? I blame Bear Grylls, lol ... we have been off trail 10 minutes - better eat this dead badger and drink some pee!
Where is the "dislike" button?

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wha
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Re: Tuscon hiker lost for 4 days on Mt. Lemmon

Post by wha » Dec 01 2016 5:24 pm

I agree about the unnecessary days. He had a compass. With a map he could have seen that north was the wrong way to go. He would have been back at his car in time for his lunch date.

I also agree about the food. A few days without eating won't kill you. Without water, can. Even worse, prickly pear pads have very few calories. He likely expended more energy finding and eating them than he gained. And with the diarrhea he only became even more dehydrated. Better to eat nothing than keep eating them for 4 days.

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friendofThundergod
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Re: Tuscon hiker lost for 4 days on Mt. Lemmon

Post by friendofThundergod » Dec 01 2016 5:29 pm

I am with ALMAL and Cactuscat, I was trying to give the guy the benefit of the doubt, but some things just don't seem to add up heret..One or two things are going on here, some fabrications in the story, or he simply was not the avid outdoorsman he said he was...Lets get real, nobody is killing a bear with a knife tied to a hiking pole :lol: Unless that knife is a 12 inch K-bar :o

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toddak
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Re: Tuscon hiker lost for 4 days on Mt. Lemmon

Post by toddak » Dec 01 2016 5:55 pm

Rugged area but apparently not unfamiliar territory. Hard to understand why he resolved to going north once he realized he was lost, the highway couldn't have been more than a mile due west.

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Jim_H
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Re: Tuscon hiker lost for 4 days on Mt. Lemmon

Post by Jim_H » Dec 01 2016 8:14 pm

I don't get it.
:o

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The_Eagle
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Re: Tuscon hiker lost for 4 days on Mt. Lemmon

Post by The_Eagle » Dec 01 2016 8:36 pm

cactuscat wrote:dead badger
mmmm Badger......
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry

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ALMAL
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Re: Tuscon hiker lost for 4 days on Mt. Lemmon

Post by ALMAL » Dec 01 2016 8:50 pm

In all seriousness though, he did mention taking his own life and had a vivid dream that made him think of death.
He probably should not be hiking alone anymore.
You aren't late if you don't show up!

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big_load
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Re: Tuscon hiker lost for 4 days on Mt. Lemmon

Post by big_load » Dec 01 2016 9:11 pm

One thing that does ring true about this story is what can happen when the chips are down: one bad decision leads to another in a cascading catastrophe. A good way to break the chain is to just stop and rest. Don't make any decisions, don't even think for a bit, just let your mind settle. Dialing down the anxiety squeezes the stu

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flagscott
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Re: Tuscon hiker lost for 4 days on Mt. Lemmon

Post by flagscott » Dec 01 2016 9:41 pm

big_load wrote:One thing that does ring true about this story is what can happen when the chips are down: one bad decision leads to another in a cascading catastrophe. A good way to break the chain is to just stop and rest. Don't make any decisions, don't even think for a bit, just let your mind settle. Dialing down the anxiety squeezes the stu
Sounds like you've read the book Deep Survival. There are some really interesting stories in there.

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big_load
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Re: Tuscon hiker lost for 4 days on Mt. Lemmon

Post by big_load » Dec 01 2016 10:38 pm

flagscott wrote:
Sounds like you've read the book Deep Survival. There are some really interesting stories in there.
Yes, that's a great book. I wish I could say that I didn't instantly recognize from experience a lot of what he described.

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chumley
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Re: Tuscon hiker lost for 4 days on Mt. Lemmon

Post by chumley » Dec 02 2016 9:17 am

cactuscat wrote:I blame Bear Grylls
:sweat:
I agree. This got me reading the HAZ wayback machine. There are some old posts about Bear and Les Stroud that are pure gold: Reality Survivor Shows

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