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Lost Camper Found
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Frank Perkins

Locale: North East
Lost Camper Found on 01/15/2007 07:59:20 MST Print View

This is a pretty amazing story. Wish I had more details on the survival aspect of it.

(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Lost Camper Found on 01/15/2007 17:52:36 MST Print View

If I was cut off from civilization, with no one searching for me that I could call or flash a mirror at, I'd start me a forest fire, if I could. I'm an environmentalist, but to get rescued I'd burn down 10,000 trees and worry about paying for them later.

Gregory Stevens
(wolverine70) - F

Locale: Near the KT Trail
Re: Lost Camper Found on 01/15/2007 18:26:47 MST Print View

That is a pretty good way to get some attention, One thing is for sure you would not be cold at night hehehe. But on a serious note she did a hell of a job at surviving out there for that long. I was talking to my girlfriend earlier and she told me about the hiker and a thought came to mind "what would I do in a situation like that" Kind of scary if you think about it. But me being a lone hiker am thinking of buying a PLB or Sat phone. Both are great but the PLB is probably the best bet. What do you guys think is the best choice???

Brett Tucker
(blister-free) - F

Locale: Puertecito ruins
Re: Lost Camper Found on 01/15/2007 19:36:28 MST Print View

It's been done, and it's called the Rodeo Fire - 600,000 acres in east-central Arizona, roughly the size of one of the New England states, now no good for anyone. No true environmentalist would intentionally "start me a forest fire," not when a controlled signal fire would work just fine, and while his own brain and two legs might just do the rescuing for him.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Lost Camper Found on 01/15/2007 20:00:14 MST Print View

I have a 121.5MHz EPIRB (ACR miniB 300) which I will carry on future snow hikes/camping trips; but I strongly suspect no one would be "listening" if I activated it. When I can afford a 406MHz beacon I am going to buy one.. If a Satphone was similar cost; that would be even better, but it does require the ability to talk and report position; things the 406 beacon can do automatically.

Low cost alternative; leave the route and schedule with a trusted friend, and on your car dashboard.

Gregory Stevens
(wolverine70) - F

Locale: Near the KT Trail
Re: Lost Camper Found on 01/16/2007 05:40:05 MST Print View

I would agree with you about the satphone but does it require a monthly contract??? As far as I know the PLB does not but you do have the option to call and physically talk to somebody with the Satphone. So I guess they are both great items to have regardless and I would hope none of us ever will have to use one but it is definately something to take along when you do hikes where cell phones wont work.

James Pitts
(jjpitts) - F

Locale: Midwest US
Re: Lost Camper Found on 01/16/2007 06:30:06 MST Print View

Something about that story doesn't ring true to me. I am glad it ended well and the two hikers did a great thing.

Edited by jjpitts on 01/16/2007 06:30:51 MST.

Stephen Eggleston
(happycamper) - F

Locale: South Bayish
Re: Lost Camper Found on 01/16/2007 08:19:45 MST Print View

I am glad this woman made it out of the woods safe and sound. It is amazing she lasted so long. Those brothers and rescuers did an excellent job. There are some odd details in the story:

1)she carried 2 weeks of food AND water, when her water ran out she drank from the river yet she was dehydrated when found (when is the last time you carried 2 weeks of water while hiking near a river?)

2)when the rescuers got to her the river that she was unable to cross was only knee deep

3)she wouldn't cross the river for fear of getting wet and hypothermic, yet she had hypothermia from environmental cold when she was found

4) she was 6 miles from the nearest road although I'm not sure if this was "as the crow flies"

5) she left no itinerary with anybody

It sounds as though she was too inexperienced for a 2 week mid-winter solo trip in the Gila Wilderness. Just my assessment.

Edited by happycamper on 01/16/2007 08:21:49 MST.

Phil Barton
(flyfast) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma
Re: Lost Camper Found on 01/16/2007 11:55:11 MST Print View

It will be very interesting to see the details behind the story when they become available. I am reluctant to accept some elements of the report. Do you think maybe the reporter knew she had 2 weeks of food and just added the "and water" part of the story? How many reporters for major media have any kind of outdoor experience? Finally, someone that is experiencing hypothermia will have impaired judgment. That could easily explain any odd decision that the lost hiker might have made. Hopefully, there will be some details forthcoming.

Brett Tucker
(blister-free) - F

Locale: Puertecito ruins
Re: Re: Lost Camper Found on 01/16/2007 17:29:56 MST Print View

The article includes a link to a video report, which shows a Google Earth depiction of the location of Dorn's camp. Pausing the video while examining Google Earth on my desktop, the approx. location of the camp appears to be:

33 04 57 N 108 27 26 W

This is along the main fork of the Gila River, south and west of the Cliff Dwellings and Continental Divide Trail. Her camp appears to have been on the north side of the river, at an unnamed side canyon just east of Hidden Pasture Canyon. If the river were to rise here, the only practical option (other than waiting for the river to drop) would be to head up the side canyon, and bushwhack over to Turkey Creek, then follow trails east to the Cliff Dwellings, or head west to Mogollon Creek and out to Hwy 180 south of Glenwood.

Why did she stay put? Wild speculation, but it's entirely possible the generally sound advice to stay put and wait for rescue in this case gave the individual too much time to turn the river into a monster in her own mind, one that boded of death long after the water level subsided, and paralyzed her from changing course and taking action on her own behalf. The critical window for self-rescue would have been before running on metabolic empty. After that, her odds diminished either way, and her survival ultimately was in the hands of chance.

Edited by blister-free on 01/16/2007 18:29:08 MST.

Thom Kendall
(kendalltf) - F

Locale: IL
Re: Lost Camper Found on 01/19/2007 19:16:00 MST Print View

Let me say again that I am a little different from many of you on the list. I started camping in the primitive section so I am skill based. You realize that humans lasted for thousands of years in the "wilderness" hunting and gathering. It was just over a hundred years that trappers went into the wilderness and lived for months. I agree with the above reaction that she was inexperienced. Any serious hiker/camper knows to leave at least your area of operation so someone know the area you are going to be in. Two weeks of water? I do not think that is possible unless you are pulling a water buffalo. Just my thoughts.

mark henley
(flash582) - F
In that light on 01/21/2007 08:56:11 MST Print View

So .... let's say, just for the sake of argument, that Hiking in a large wilderness area, you're three days of solid hiking in, and a unexpected shift in a low pressure system blows up a devil of a storm, shreds your tent or tarp where you camped on a ridgeline, and soaks your down bag. The temp falls to the low thirties and you have a solid grey overcast sky with constant rain falling. The rain turns freezing rain at night, sleet in the morning, and rain in the afternoon.

Soaked bag, no shelter save a rain jacket and a damp down jacket, the forest is soaked around you ... and you're three days of normal hiking to get out with no other bail out options.

To complicate matters, the rain has swollen the stream crossings and turned them into rushing rivers that are unsafe to cross.

What do you do?

(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Lost Camper Found on 01/21/2007 22:17:47 MST Print View

Use your Rambo knife to get some dry fuel from underneath a downed, rotten log where the rain has not yet soaked in, build a leafy lean-to, start a fire inside the lean-to, near the opening, and call out on your sat phone?

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Re: In that light on 01/23/2007 05:55:08 MST Print View


Interesting scenario. I just can't think of any place where i go to that is that remote. Even in Schotland, where I did my best in going to very remote area's i'd still be within a days walk of a town.


mark henley
(flash582) - F
And the point is .... don't forget to use your head. on 01/23/2007 08:26:49 MST Print View

I've hiked several days into the Winds, several days hike into the mountains of New Mexico, not to mention other areas .... but I agree with you. Few places are that remote unless you break a leg. Utah, or Kings Canyon for example.

The point I'm driving is simple .... preparedness is more in the mind than on your back or in your pockets.

You can break rocks to make a knife, strip bark to make crude rope, and start a fire using sticks if you have to.

If you are determined, and use your head, you can survive, assuming you don't bleed to death or fall off a cliff or something. If the doo doo hits the fan, the first thing to do is to sit down, calm down, and think things through.