Welcome to another edition of Survival Weekly, where the real wilderness survival “reality show” plays out everyday, in the wild places around our world. These unscripted stories will give you insight to the true threats and challenges you may face in your outdoor pursuits. So sit back, relax, and read on to get a dose of reality to sharpen your most valuable survival tool. – BPO
And now for a 2 year BigPigBlog anniversary rant..
Surviving a wilderness emergency has been romanticized in our culture to the point there are TV shows and experts recommending primitive and bushcraft skills to people during a wilderness emergency. If you are involved in search and rescue or a reader of Survival Weekly, you will surely see the folly in the following quote:
“McKinley told the class that learning about primitive skills allows a person to not spend their money on gear to survive in the wild, but to take the opportunity to build and create the means of survival by utilizing the natural surroundings”
I am going to give McKinley the benefit of the doubt that the journalist spun the story to be trendy, as readinding the rest of the article, I believe his real intentions are to get people outside and connecting with nature. However, I can’t let that quote slide by without addressing it’s gross negligance.
By definition, a “survival situation” would be life-threatening incident. I would also throw out that they are “unplanned”, as most people try to avoid death.
Native people and mountain men carried cutting edge equipment of their time. It just so happened, that friction fire and flint and steel, was their best technology.
Try carving a friction fire set and starting a fire with a “simulated” broken wrist. Try it while shivering uncontrollaby, or better yet, when your kids are shivering and it’s raining.
Try building a debris hut when everything is soaked, you have thirty minutes until dark, and your family is with you.
Try coal burning a container and rock boiling water when you are dehydrated.
Then try all the same with a lighter, a contractor bag, and water purification pills for your canteen you brought, which all together cost you, maybe $10.
In fifteen years of search & rescue and two years of reporting Survival Weekly, I have yet to see an incident where someone miraculously finds themselves in a survival situation, naked, without some sort of equipment.
I love primitive skills, bushcraft, foraging, hunting and trapping, but I keep it all in context and realize that in most modern scenarios, those skills should not be prioritized over good decision making in regards to planning and gear.
The real lesson from learning primitive skills is when you realize how much time and effort they require and that you wouldn’t want to bet your life or your family’s on them.
Tracking helps find lost biker – “Around 10 p.m. rescuers saw foot prints and a bike tire imprint leading up one of the small creek beds.” – http://www.4029tv.com/news/search-and-rescue-teams-in-carroll-county-locate-biker-lost-on-trails/34527182
Water Safety –
Jet skier rescued from cell phone “ping” – http://www.insidenova.com/headlines/cell-phone-ping-leads-rescue-crews-to-missing-jet-skier/article_1c6b765e-392e-11e5-8a3b-ebd326fb8bcc.html
SAR suspended for missing Florida teens – http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20150801/search-suspended-for-missing-florida-teens
Death Valley National Park (CA)
Mother And Child Rescued From Trail In Extreme Heat Conditions
On the afternoon of Monday, August 3rd, rangers received a report that a mother and son were experiencing severe heat exhaustion on the Golden Canyon Trail, a popular hiking route in Death Valley.
The father, now at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, left his family on the trail and sought help when his wife and son were too exhausted to continue. Rangers responded to the visitor center and learned that the eight-year-old child and 49-year-old mother had just a half liter of water between them when the father left them an hour previously. The father also said that his wife and son had been vomiting and had been on the trail since 9 a.m. The air temperature at the time was 120 F.
Rangers immediately responded and began hiking the trail, carrying copious amounts of water and medical supplies. After roughly thirty minutes of searching, the rangers located the mother and son, who were lying face down in the shade of a cliff face. Both were responsive but were completely out of water.
Rangers administered care to both mother and son, who were stable and denied throwing up. Once they had been cooled, the rangers assisted them in walking out of the canyon. When they arrived at the ambulance, staged at the entrance to the canyon, the mother declined any further medical care for her and her son.
Badlands National Park (SD)
Search For Missing Man Suspended
On Friday, July 31st, rangers suspended the search for 39-year-old Joshua Jacobsen of Lincoln, Nebraska, due to lack of physical evidence.
Jacobsen was reported missing by his family on July 16th. During the week of July 27th, rangers, along with members of the Pennington County search and rescue team, conducted focused operations within the 64,000-acre Sage Creek Wilderness using a cadaver dog team from Estes Park, Colorado. The South Dakota National Guard also conducted grid searches with a Lakota to follow-up on bones observed during a prior flight. The bones were later determined to be from a buffalo.
Close to 50 searchers have participated in operations since July 17th and more than 20 flight hours were logged by the South Dakota National Guard. Rangers are continuing to investigate the case with the FBI and Pennington County Sheriff’s Department.
Joshua Tree National Park (CA)
Hiker Suffers Fatal Heart Attack
A 73-year-old Louisiana woman suffered a fatal heart attack while hiking with family on the 49 Palms Oasis trail on Monday, July 27th.
Park staff, Joshua Tree National Park Search and Rescue, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and members of the Twentynine Palms Fire Department responded and administered CPR, but the woman did not respond.
Two other members of the hiking party were transported by Morongo Basin Ambulance and treated for heat-related issues at Hi Desert Medical Center.
Lost & Injured hikers rescued –
Lake Mead National Recreation Area – NV, AZ
Bodies Of Two People Found In Stuck Minivan
The bodies of a man and woman from Golden Valley, Arizona, were found near Greggs Hideout in Lake Mead National Recreation Area on Sunday, August 2nd.
Park dispatch received a call just before 5 p.m. reporting that bodies of the two people were found in a minivan by a third party who was passing through.
Mohave County Sheriff’s Office deputies and National Park Service rangers responded and located the pair in a minivan that was stuck in the dirt on Salt Spring Wash Road. They appeared to have died from environmental exposure. Only two bottles of water were found at the scene and there was no cell phone coverage in the area.
The Mohave County Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death and confirm the victims’ identities. The incident is under investigation.
Injured dirtbiker rescued – http://airmedandrescue.com/story/tect-rescue-airlifts-injured-biker1170
Pilot rescued after helicopter crash – http://flatheadbeacon.com/2015/08/05/helicopter-crashes-in-beaver-lake-near-whitefish/
Interested in learning skills to handle emergencies like the ones you read in Survival Weekly? Check out BigPig Outdoors Survival 101 class – http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/survival-101-1.htm