posted on Apr, 18 2010 @ 05:35 PM
This is a fun topic. I wish I had thought to post it.
It's great from an entertainment standpoint as well as a learning experiance for those that are new to the wilderness. I have always gone through
life with the thought that you should be able to learn something from everyone you come in contact with. You learn to do the good things as well as
learn from the mistakes of others. Perhaps this thread will keep a few people out of sticky situations.
As an avid backpacker I have had more than my share of worst survival moments here are a few of mine.....
1. My first real wilderness experiance came right after high school. I was with a friend and we decided t take a look at a map and just take off for a
road trip. right in the middle of the east coast was a huge green area, the great smokey mountain national par, "Let's go camping" I said, and off
we went. It was the middle of October and we arrived in the mid afternoon. We drove to a trailhead grabbed our gear and started down the trail.
Keep in mind neither of us really knew what we were doing. Our tent consisted of something we picked up at K-mart, I don't even remember what we
brought for food, certainly didnt bring a lot of extra clothes, of coarse we had an ax, and some matches.
We hiked along the trail for about three hours and found a nice clearing off the trail. At this time we didnt even know we were supposed to be using
designated back country sites. So we slashed up a few trees with the axe so we would know where we were off the trail. I certainly hope no park
rangers are reading this.
THe smoky mountains are funny. Some years the place gets no snow other years there are early snow falls and late snow falls. This year happened to be
an early snowfall. We were in our glory. Out in nature, just finishing putting up a tent and the beautiful snow is starting to come down. Well let me
assure you, our glee was short lived as a few snow flakes turned into a blinding blizzard pretty dang quick. Not a problem, we are smart, we have
matches and an axe. We are men, we will make a fire and brave the elements.
Two hours later, a bunch of chopped up little trees, cold and wet as heck, shivering our behinds off. I rememebr distinctively the last match. It was
like our final hope, all of our dreams, desires, and spirit of adventure resting on that single suplhur coated piece of wood. Who would get the
honors? It was me..... a little pile of tinder(or so I thought) and one last match. I waited for just the right moment when the wind would let up. My
friend cowering over me, offering as much resistance to the wind and snow as he could. Then the sound of the match as it strikes the box. A spark, a
small chance of hope as the match flares up into a little orange flame. We are saved as I touched the match to the tinder. A little smoke, but no
flame, the match begins to get lower and burns my finger, I persist until all is lost excpet a blister forming on my now numb fingers.
We give up, back to the car. The car is nice and warm, It has a heater, it has a bbq grill, and food ready to be grilled. Forget the tent, forget the
sleeping bags we'll come back and get them. Right now we just want to make it back to the car. The car is nice and warm.
Several hours later we are back at the car. Crank it up and drive to the nearby campground. It's now after midnight. We are all cozy and warm from
the heated car. We decide it's time to cook dinner. I turn the car off pop open the hatchback( I hope that doesn't give away my age) and goto
grilling. Ahh those were the best burgers and beer I ever had in my life.
Now it's after midnight, we'll crash in the car, get up in the morning and go fetch our stuff. About an hour later we realize it's getting really
cold in the car. Not a problem we have a heater, we'll crank up the car and get warm again. Wrong, apparantly we killed the battery using one of
those nine million candlelight powered spotlights to see what we were grilling.
After a pretty cold night, very little sleep we awoke, found a ranger and got the car jumped. Later that day we hiked back to get the tent. It was
almost totally buiried in snow.
ANyway. That was my first experiance. Since then I have learned quite a lot. And even now as I can say I am more skilled in the wilderness I have had
a few other close encounters. I shall share those later as this event is much more writing than I had intended.
Whats the boy scout moto. "Be prepared". Good advice. Wish I had been a scout.