Turn to page 41 of the December 2014 issue of Backpacker Magazine and you can read a story about survival. Actually, I would say it is more about being ill-prepared and dumb luck than survival but I am not very sympathetic with these kinds of things.
33 y/o Dan Hein planned to do a solo trip of three or four days in Kings Canyon National Park including a loop of 13,563 foot Mt. Goddard. He did tell his father where he was going and when he was supposed to be back but that was about all he did right in my opinion.
On the second day of his outing a two foot boulder rolled over his leg resulting in an open fracture of the tibia (shin bone). Any significant injury in the backcountry is a problem. A long bone poking out of the skin makes it more interesting. Being by yourself complicates things even further. Being way off trail and without reliable comms means you are not only stupid but pretty much totally screwed. And by screwed I mean dead.
You can read the full story for yourself but the reason it is a story at all is because he ended up spending another five days in the Sierra Nevada with a level one injury, he was found, he survived, and even got to keep his leg. That’s the dumb luck aspect. The ill-prepared part is that an educated man would do such a thing without bringing along a DeLorme inReach, SPOT or ACR ResQLink. Had Mr. Hein had one of these reasonably priced modern marvels he would have been in a hospital emergency room within hours of the incident.
To add insult to injury he let Backpacker tell his story.
Wonder what his degree is in?
UPDATE – No sooner had I hit the publish button on this post did I get a message from a reader with this link. Thanks Bruce.
Interesting and it reminds me of a few old SAR axioms I learned relatively early in my career. First, never expect a victim to participate in his own rescue. Second, you can’t save people from themselves. Last, stupid is as stupid does.