The last steps of a would-be survivalist...

Some of our favorites!!!!
User avatar
shingaling
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:30 pm
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

The last steps of a would-be survivalist...

Postby shingaling » Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:54 pm

Earlier this year a man in Ontario, Canada went out into the woods to test his survival skills. It didn't go so well - he succumbed to hypothermia. This article digs a little deeper, giving a bit of background on the man's physical and mental state. The author re-traces his last steps, trying to work out a time-line of events. Here's the url:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nat ... le1521585/

-Shingaling
Any road followed precisely to its end leads precisely nowhere. Climb the mountain just a little bit to test that it's a mountain. From the top of the mountain, you cannot see the mountain.

User avatar
zelph
Posts: 15751
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:53 pm

Re: The last steps of a would-be survivalist...

Postby zelph » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:00 pm

Seems like he new something bad might happen. Maybe he planned it to end his way. They say it's not a bad way to go, better than dying from smoking related illnesses :o
"Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained" stove store = http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

User avatar
ConnieD
Posts: 2041
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:53 pm
Location: Montana
Contact:

Re: The last steps of a would-be survivalist...

Postby ConnieD » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:29 pm

My website exists to "head off" a space-blanket will keep you warm enough (no, it won't) and the "minimalists" and the "survival-tv" version of wilderness ideas.

The Globe and The Mail Toronto:
Evidence suggests he did not choose his firewood well. Beside his fire clearing lay a felled maple tree that was obviously too green to burn and a charred birch log that appeared too rotten to have ignited properly. The soil was only charred to a depth of four centimetres beneath a meagre ash pile. Whatever fire had burned could not have been large enough to keep him from shivering on his bed of balsam boughs.

With no shelter, and judging by the lack of boot trails around the campsite, it’s likely Mr. Code left at first light Friday morning. He didn’t retrace his slightly circuitous route in, but instead headed straight north, as he told Mrs. Ellis he would. Trudging through more challenging terrain, he would have generated body heat to warm himself, but would have been depleting his energy reserves at an alarming rate.

After two kilometres, Mr. Code presumably rested for a time where a thin layer of pine boughs seemed to have been compressed by body weight. There was no evidence he tried to light any of the tinder available within an arm’s reach. His hands had likely become frozen past the point of usefulness.

From here he would have been able to look through a few trees into a clearing to the place where he would die. The trail of footprints leading away from the spot shortly emerged from the trees, headed 40 metres into the clearing to a body-sized depression in the snow. It then took off on a perpendicular angle and stopped, finally, amid twig and bark debris below a dead black spruce. An autopsy would confirm hypothermia as the cause of death.

R.I.P.

User avatar
zelph
Posts: 15751
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:53 pm

Re: The last steps of a would-be survivalist...

Postby zelph » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:07 pm

Has anyone out there experienced uncontrollable shivering? If and when it occurred, how long did it take you to recover?

I experienced it once at home, inside. It was a side effect of what I think was food poisoning. At the time it was occuring, I was able to think of what it might be like in an outdoor survival situation. There is no way I would have been able to shave off some magnesium from a coglans fire starting bar.

I have read people have died of hypothermia inside of a cabin that had a stove, firewood and matches in it. Scarry!!!!
Do what ever necessary to prevent hypothermia. ;)
"Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained" stove store = http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

User avatar
shingaling
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:30 pm
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Re: The last steps of a would-be survivalist...

Postby shingaling » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:54 am

Concerning hypothermia, everyone's been cold before, but I think I've only ever seen one *true* case. Once back in the USMC we were doing swim qualifications. Back and forth across the pool, get one level done, then attempt to get qual'd on the next level. One guy I worked with was a great swimmer and was acting as a life guard, so he was standing chest deep in the pool for a couple of hours. He never felt cold (warm spring day, N Carolina, about 20 deg C)...but someone swam by him and noticed how blue his lips were. Even though he protested, an officer made him get out and hit the showers, and sure enough, he started shivering badly when he got out of the water. He was pretty sapped for strength, and just sat in a warm shower for a while.

Around the same time (early 90's), some Army soldiers (Rangers?) down in Florida succumbed to hypothermia while on an exercise. It was warm, but they had spent a lot of time wading in swamps.
Any road followed precisely to its end leads precisely nowhere. Climb the mountain just a little bit to test that it's a mountain. From the top of the mountain, you cannot see the mountain.

Q_x
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 2:41 pm

Re: The last steps of a would-be survivalist...

Postby Q_x » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:15 am

blanked :mrgreen:
Last edited by Q_x on Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Delete this account, please

sudden
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:33 pm

Re: The last steps of a would-be survivalist...

Postby sudden » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:34 am

zelph wrote:Has anyone out there experienced uncontrollable shivering? If and when it occurred, how long did it take you to recover?




Yes.

I was a 17yr old city kid. I went hunting with my uncle and his friend. They dropped me off at a power line running up a mountain. I was supposed to get to the top and wait as they would be driving around the other side and climbing up from another direction.

I was not prepared clothes wise and ended up soaked, cold, and exposed to the wind. They finally made it up to me and instead of getting me back to the vehicle, they gave me the keys and pointed me in the right direction. I was already shivering uncontrollably. I started making my way down but kept getting sleepy and wanted to "just rest a bit". I had read about hypothermia and at least realized what was happening to me so I forced myself to keep going. When I got to the jeep I could not use my hands anymore (my fingers would no longer bend). I managed to get the keys out and held them using the heel of both hands pressed together. It took several tries but I finally got them in the door. I got the jeep started (another struggle), turned the heater to high and spent the next several hours trying to stay awake and warm my hands. By evening my hands were working again, I had no frostbite, but I was exhausted.

It was one of those life lessons that changes you forever. I taught many kids to hunt and fish over the years and never once was I unprepared to take care of them if something went wrong, or too busy with my goals to keep them safe.
"People are not persuaded by what we say, but rather by what they understand."

User avatar
ConnieD
Posts: 2041
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:53 pm
Location: Montana
Contact:

Re: The last steps of a would-be survivalist...

Postby ConnieD » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:00 pm

I was teaching a man kayaking on a mountain lake.

He didn't dress in layers. He said, he thought he would be too hot for a sunny day.

Well, you never know about the changeable weather in the mountains. I had told him to dress in layers so he could adjust his clothing and to dress his core for submersion in water following the maxim: dress for the water temperature and protect your core.

I did take him in the shallow lake, first: Pray Lake, then Two Medicine Lake. He got so cold, in Two Medicine Lake, he was shaking all over.

I suggested we paddle to a gravel beach. He was very unsteady on his feet, needing help to get out of his boat. I had him sit, then lay down on the gravel, while I got a hot cup of soup and a nice lunch ready. He did kinda stretch out a bit as his muscles stopped shaking uncontrollably, the sun on the rocks helping. I tossed him a jacket for his legs, and that helped too.

Always, "treat for shock" by making gentle suggestions and not rushing about overmuch, keeping yourself calm.

He pulled thru, and he said he had a fine time, apparently forgetting the incident or not realizing he was at risk. In all, he did have a fine time.

Dressing in layers works well, if you have provision for ventilation so you do not get your clothing soaked from sweat (perspiration). Keep dry. If you can't do that, seal off cuffs, collar and waistline and then you only have to warm the layer of water next to your skin.

I was in one mountain rescue situation involving the sleeping bag rescue system: the trip leader asked everyone in the rescue team to pull up their outer clothing when he came around so he could put his hand on our belly. The person with the warmest belly stripped to their first layer and got in the warmest sleeping bag we had with the victim stripped out of their wet clothing and one layer of dry clothing demanded of the volunteers.

In another instance, the ER Triage RN demanded clothing from the others, in the Rescue Car, she wanted for the victim, ordering the victim (a nun) to strip.

Sometimes it takes a RN to order people around. :)

I should add: it is imperative the victim not be dropped, if carried, or jarred suddenly by falling back or whatever. Their heart can stop.

No rubbing. It is too late for that. Steady warming, with the warm clothing you have on, and give up, and the sleeping bag rescue works if someone is warm. But they will need follow up. I tried to give the nun special supplements: creatinine, trace minerals, potassium in supplements and food. I brought her a bag of "grocieries" she would not accept. She had a tough recovery over more than a few weeks. She had been near dead, going in and out of consciousness and had a near death experience, or even more than one. Four days exposure, and she survived. Six counties SAR had started dead body recovery search when I got there. I convinced them to continue live search, by saying: I know the woman and she is a tough scotswoman who walked the hills of Scotland in rain with her dad. I lied. I knew her. I made up the rest of it. I found a retired county sheriff, who said he could liberate a Rescue Car, put the triage RN in the car and take along some "fresh" strong young men and women in the car. I said, drive at a crawl, no talking, windows rolled down, tell hikers allowed back on the trail, in Point Reyes National Seashore, if asked, you are looking for a woman who may be disoriented and unresponsive or not be aware she is lost (mental faculties are diminished) and provide her name, if allowed. The first two hikers that asked found her, the young man went down in the ravine to comfort her. The young woman ran after the Rescue Car.

How did I know where she was?

1. She had to be in a difficult place or she would be back.
2. She could have lost her eyeglasses. (She did.)
3. If she "followed a stream" she would likely be in one of only two places, in a ravine where the stream disappears in the ground.

#3 is where most people are found dead. Do not follow a stream, unless: you know everything about that stream, where it goes without too many meanders and there isn't too much brush or overgrown trees so you have to "bushwack" because you will become too tired to retrace your steps or climb out of the inevitable ravine with loose forest "duff" so you can't get any traction to scramble out. (Yes, her hands and arms and face were scratched from her trying to get out of the ravine and from trying to hike at night when she "lost" her glasses when a small branch or twig flipped her eyeglasses off her face.)

These "mistakes" practically always happen in nearly every "dead body recovery". I only do live rescues: every rescue I have been on has been a live rescue.

User avatar
zelph
Posts: 15751
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:53 pm

Re: The last steps of a would-be survivalist...

Postby zelph » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:03 pm

Sudden, glad you survived the ordeal and for sharing your story. Real life experiences are the best teacher.

Thank You Connie for sharing your experience and for volunteering your life saving knowledge to rescue the ones that go a stray.

I drove ambulance for a local volunteer fire dept for 5 years. I had some very eye opening experiences while providing life saving service to those that required it. Many a story could be told.
"Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained" stove store = http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

JBRanger
Posts: 306
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:02 pm

Re: The last steps of a would-be survivalist...

Postby JBRanger » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:57 pm

Wow.... great stories everyone. Seriously.

Back to the topic at hand of this person. He was ill prepared. I NEVER, EVER go anywhere unprepared. Even those tv shows that semi show some survival things have folks that know their whereabouts and when they should be checking in.

I'm sorry for this guy's family and friends, but he was foolish.


Return to “Articles”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest