*** ALERT *** APPALACHIAN TRAIL HIKER FOUND!

*** ALERT *** APPALACHIAN TRAIL HIKER FOUND!

Print Jump to Reader Comments

by BackpackingLight.com Staff | 2009-04-30 10:04:00-06

*** ALERT *** APPALACHIAN TRAIL HIKER FOUND!

UPDATE 5/2/09 4:07 PM:

KEN KNIGHT WAS FOUND TODAY AND WALKED OUT UNDER HIS OWN STEAM.  HE IS AT THE HOSPITAL AND MORE DETAILS WILL LIKELY FOLLOW ONCE WE HAVE THEM.  -Addie Bedford


Name
: Ken Knight
Height: 5'4"
Weight: 180-200 lb
Point Last Seen: Punchbowl Mountain on the Appalachian Trail in VA
Time Last Seen: Sunday, April 26, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Unique Characteristics: wearing a dry-bag style backpack with a bright orange packbag, hiker is vision-impaired.

If you have info, please contact us: publisher@backpackinglight.com.

Photo above taken Wednesday, April 22 on the Appalachian Trail.


Citation

"*** ALERT *** APPALACHIAN TRAIL HIKER FOUND!," by BackpackingLight.com Staff. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/missing_hiker_alert.html, 2009-04-30 10:04:00-06.

Print

Reader Comments

You must login to post comments.

New Visitors: Create a new account
Username:
Password:
Remember my login info.

Forum Index » BPL.com News and Info » KEN KNIGHT IS MISSING ON APPALACHIAN TRAIL IN VA


Display Avatars
Sort By:
Misfit Mystic
(cooldrip)

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
RE: Thank You on 05/04/2009 09:47:27 MDT Print View

Mr. Eggeman the thanks go to you and the rest of VA SAR, and to all the others across the country, tirelessly working to ensure happy endings!

Paul Haan
(Siler) - F
a little reflection on 05/04/2009 12:10:33 MDT Print View

The emotions from this weekend are beginning to settle and before this thread goes dead I’d like to share a few observations which may be instructive to those interested in learning.

I am one of Ken’s friends from Michigan who went down to VA to help in the effort. I can tell you I was blown away by the professionalism and the response of the VA SAR groups. The systematic, evidence-based way that they approached this search made me very confident in their efforts to find Ken — but that did not relieve my emotions when it came to imagining what condition he might be in when found. Nothing could address my emotions other than finding him.

As others have pointed out, Ken needs to accept the assistance and interactions of other hikers, even if it is not welcomed or uncomfortable. That is one lesson that should be learned to avoid a re-occurrence for Ken as he rightfully continues his hiking.

I would like to address some other decision points from which any of us who hike in groups can learn… not Ken’s actions, but the actions of those around him. Actions which certainly were not causal in nature, but which certainly impacted how events unfolded.

I have lead group hikes in the past and will continue to lead them in the future, but I know I will do them a little differently from this point on. Following are some of the things I will do as a result of lessons learned.

1) I will require participants to clearly state any medical, personal or other pertinent limitations that they may have that will impact the group hike. I will also inform the participant that this information will be shared with all other participants should they choose to join the group hike.

2) I will share this information on individual limitations with all others in the group in advance, and will review these issues at the pre-trip briefing.

3) I will strongly encourage group participants to be mindful of the whereabouts of their fellow hikers at all times. Personally, I believe this business of “I’ll meet you at the shelter” should be reserved for casual acquaintances met along the trail, but not for organized group hikes. I don’t personally ascribe to the “we’re a group but we’re all hiking independently” philosophy. Either we’re a group or we’re not, and everyone needs to know EXACTLY where things stand.

4) At exit, I will require the whole group to stay put until all hikers are out. One of the biggest factors in delaying the search for Ken was the fact that the group disbanded and then later needed to make group decisions about what could of possibly happened.

I know many of us hike with people we have never or barely met before. In the future, I know I will be more careful in assessing the dynamic being established in a group and will do what I can to foster accountability.

When I met Ken as he was exiting the hospital, one of his more astounding comments was when he said he thought people were looking for him as soon as Monday, maybe even Sunday night. When we pointed out that that was far from the truth, he was absolutely shocked. After getting off the trail, he did many things right (staying put, making sure he had water, shelter, etc.). Had there been closer tabs upon his location and a more prompt identification of the fact that he was lost, I am certain that he would have been located much earlier and with much fewer resources expended. And I don’t think that is an unreasonable expectation to have of the hiking community.

I would encourage all of us to continue to follow this situation as the facts now unfold and more objective lessons are learned. I encourage everyone to think “how does this apply to me? And what can I do better as a result of this shared experience?” We can all do some reflecting upon what it means to be a hike leader, a group participant, and a member of the hiking community.

Please don’t take this missive as an attempt to place blame on any one person. I will admit that I have broken all of these lessons learned in the past just like anyone else. I’m simply broadcasting these thoughts in the hopes that we can all learn something from this experience.

Lastly, I’ll be joining many of Ken's freinds in making sure that Ken is making an objective assessment of this experience, learning from it, and changing behavior. And I have the good fortune of being able to do that in person!

Hike safely!

Siler
GAME’00
LT’01

Ron Hedlund
(papamuskrat) - F
Siler's Got It Right On on 05/04/2009 12:37:56 MDT Print View

Siler, you make many very well reasoned statements of fact and opinion. It was truly a pleasure to work with you Saturday. It is not always a good situation to have friends of the subject tag along on mission tasks, but that was not the case with you.

I have a lot of respect for you and your abilities, and should I ever have the opportunity in the future, I would enjoy your company on a hike. And please personally, extend my best wishes to Ken.

Joe Figura
(GrinchMT) - F

Locale: Big Sky Country
Re: Reflection on 05/04/2009 12:41:13 MDT Print View

As an ex Paramedic & SAR person, I agree with your assessments. Not knowing the full story, and even now not knowing it but getting the jist of it, I questioned why he had been missing since Sunday without being reported, or where was his group? I am glad Ken had the knowledge to do the right thing and stay put and that he is now safe.

Kudos to all who stepped up to the plate to find Ken. Mission accomplished :)

Woubeir (from Europe)
(Woubeir) - F - MLife
Re: a little reflection on 05/04/2009 12:42:00 MDT Print View

Siler,
wise words. I couldn't agree more. Everyone should reflect on his or her role in what has happened during this week and should consider ways to prevent that this can happen again.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: a little reflection on 05/04/2009 12:54:11 MDT Print View

The Sierra Club will train people to lead trips for free (except for some leadership seminars and partial cost of wilderness first aid) and they go over all of what Siler mentioned.

Edited by jshann on 05/04/2009 13:54:30 MDT.

Ron Hedlund
(papamuskrat) - F
Other dynamics involved on 05/04/2009 13:16:15 MDT Print View

There were many dynamics at play here, from what I have learned from post-reports and from e-mails received from hiking party members.

I feel confident Siler and other friends, family and boss will prevail.

The blogging has certainly been more dramatic and less focused than the searching. :)

Tony Burnett
(tlbj6142) - F

Locale: OH--IO
Re: Re: a little reflection on 05/04/2009 13:32:21 MDT Print View

Here's a link from a member of Ken's "group" about when/why they started the search.

In short, it doesn't sound like there was a "leader" for the trip. Just more of a shuttle organizer. Everyone was on their own. If they left early or stayed late, they were on their own. There were no expectations that someone in the group would even be aware of your location on the trail and/or if you went home early.

greg osborne
(outdoorsmanonat) - F
at hiker and Intermont/black dimond member on 05/04/2009 14:21:31 MDT Print View

i have to say one thing, the main thing ken is safe and is in good health. I was also on the search for him all night friday into early morning hours, and all day saturday.the other thing is that ken did the right thing by staying put and trying to signal for help. knowing the terrain and were he was with the over cast its hard enough for hikers as is to go through a few sections. there was one climb that was 3,157 ft in a 8 to telve mile spand, w/ alot of deep drainages. 300+ acres to search was a large task for the area. his friends and family giving intell to VASAR was a big help and much thanks to them.And would like to add one thought for all hikers, if ever lost (hopefully never) a loud whistle goes a long ways, three long blast signals for help. and dont be afraid to ask for it. life in its self is to short not to give up a egoe. and to ken much much respect to you i know personly i couldn't have done what you have.

Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
Re: at hiker and Intermont/black dimond member on 05/04/2009 14:58:18 MDT Print View

>I would encourage all of us to continue to follow this situation as the facts now unfold and more objective lessons are learned. I encourage everyone to think “how does this apply to me? And what can I do better as a result of this shared experience?”

To me, it sounds like this group of hikers had very different expectations about what it meant (and therefor what would be done) if one of them didn't show up at a given shelter each night.

The big takeaway from that, I think, is that we do need to make those that may depend on us and those we may depend on (it's a two way street) quite aware of our expectations. They're not always the most pleasant discussions to have, and require some give in our egos, but they are certainly important. As hikers more more towards a cohesive group, it requires more accountability, but provides more security. As they move towards hiking alone, there's more autonomy, but also the necessity for more self-reliance. Either way, its most important that people know their status, so they can act accordingly.

Edited by dsmontgomery on 05/04/2009 14:59:26 MDT.

Brandon Cocke
(VaFarFighter) - F
Big Island Vol. Fire Company on 05/04/2009 15:35:46 MDT Print View

My name is Brandon Co cke, Lieutenant of the Big Island Vol. Fire Department here in Central Virginia. I have been reading these posts and would like to add a little bit of personal knowledge. I would also like to answer a couple of questions about the fire, and subsequent "find" of Mr. Knight.

Yes, the fire was contained at approx. 2 acres of land. But, the reason the fire was this size was due to the fire department, not Mr. Knight. The fire had gotten into a very rocky, and steep area of the mountain. Due to these conditions a fire line was dug around the fire, and in some places a good distance from the fire. The fire was then allowed to burn to the fire line, and let the fire extinguish itself. Take away the fires fuel, the fire can't continue to burn. This is how all wildland fires are contained, not by using water. Unfortunately this does increase the over all size of the fire, but it is very effective.

And now for the "billing" and "costs" that so many people have talked about. This company is a very proud 100% volunteer department. We have never, and do not plan to ever bill a person for fighting a fire, of any kind. And being that I was the officer in charge of the fire that Mr. Knight started, I do not foresee this changing now. As for Mr. Knight starting the fire, no one in this company has any hard feelings toward Mr. Knight for his actions. If I were in the same position, I would have done the exact same thing. Big Island Vol. Fire Company has the privilege of serving two counties, The County of Amherst and the County of Bedford (where we are stationed). Both communities are very good to the company and they make sure we are funded to purchase equipment, and tools for these types of calls. Not to mention that it just wouldn't be right to send any "customer" or our services a bill.

I would like to also add that Mr. Knight did indeed walk out of the woods and get into the ambulance under his own power. This was amazing to me considering everything he had been through. To Mr. Knight: Central Virginia is in the middle of "The Bible Belt". And though the community of Big Island did not personally know you, please know that tons of prayers were said for you. We were all extremely happy that you came out without any injury.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Big Island Vol. Fire Company on 05/04/2009 16:25:39 MDT Print View

Hi Brandon

Welcome to Backpacking Light.

We do appreciate you letting us know about why the fire reached 2 acres. Fwiiw, I have been a member of our local volunteer bushfire brigade here in Australia (where I live), and I understand exactly what you are saying about making a containment line around the fire. We fight fires that way too.

I think I can speak for Backpacking Light and its members in saying a big thanks to you and your brigade members for your assistance in helping Ken. We do appreciate it.

Yours
Roger Caffin
Senior Editor for Technology
Backpacking Light

Dan Cunningham
(mn-backpacker)

Locale: Land of 12,000 Loons
Re: Big Island Vol. Fire Company on 05/04/2009 19:48:34 MDT Print View

Brandon, my hat is off. People like you make the world a better place. Thank you for being you, and thanks for helping the rest of us.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: a little reflection on 05/04/2009 23:15:15 MDT Print View

Thank you Siler for your thoughtful examination of the situation and your responses and suggestions. This is the kind of response I was looking for in another thread I started about learning from Ken's ordeal, but I guess I phrased my intentions poorly.

I am a Type 1 diabetic and my condition is very serious out away from immediate help. I've done a lot of mountain walking and know what I am doing, but in spite of that, three times, while I was on my own, twice in the deep backcountry mountains here in Japan and once two years ago in the Alps in France, I got into situations where I almost died due to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar attack). Luckily in all the Japanese situations I was able to keep my head and carefully think my way out of the problem, and in France a woman walking late in the evening just happened to walk by and offered chocolate bars (plus, I was astounded to find out, she knew how to deal with my situation), but if the blood sugar had gone down so low that I lost consciousness I wouldn't be here today writing this.

Whenever I go hiking with others (or even whenever I start teaching my classes or go to dinner with someone) I always let the others know what my condition is and what might happen. Nine times out of ten nothing happens and there is no need for concern, and even when something does happen I am prepared and deal with it right there (I am no longer shy about stopping to eat something or taking out my insulin and injecting myself in a restaurant or in front of others, but in the first few years it was terribly embarrassing and humiliating and I would go seek a public bathroom to inject myself... something I can't stand doing due to the atrocious conditions of public bathrooms). I always carry a cell phone for emergencies and always have a special bag of emergency food just in case. I leave, with loved ones, detailed maps and directions about where I am going and how I will get there. Unfortunately Japanese mountain safety authorities can be awfully lax about keeping tabs on who is up there (they are woefully understaffed and underfunded, too) so a lot of the people and places to leave information at the trailhead and such just don't exist (then, civilization is never as far away as it is in the States or Australia).

I think your decision to tell other members of a hiking group about an individual's condition is an important point, and such information could help preserve the safety of the group and provide other member's valuable starting points for when that individual does get into trouble. From the way you spoke about Ken it seems you understand how unwelcome or uncomfortable help from others can be, but, and I say this mostly for the benefit of other leaders, please do be careful about what and the way the highly personal information about a person with disabilities is divulged. This information not only constantly forces such people to have to bite back their feelings about publicly spreading highly personal information around among people who would most likely not reveal their own highly personal information to strangers, but there is history behind the diseases and disabilities that people have, history of fear, pain, anger, prejudice, ridicule, a sense of helplessness. People with disabilities are forced to learn how to deal with this in order to survive and so will often allow their information to be disseminated, but not without regret or anxiety. I once told a class of my university students about why I had to occasionally eat something in front of them in the class (in Japan it is frowned upon to eat in public, especially a workplace) and the students proceeded to spend the whole class making fun of me and jeering at me. I laughed it off, but the humiliation hurt a lot. Of course, these were particularly juvenile students and so I couldn't expect more from them.

Part of living with a disability is to come to terms with your own vulnerability, imperfections, frailty, and even mortality. Everyone has to face that, of course, but with a disability it hits home very hard, and with something chronic it never goes away. You have to learn to grow a thick skin and, if you want to make through mentally, to grow to have a sense of humor about what you can't do anything about. I admire Ken a lot for having the courage to get out there and continue hiking in spite of the fear (and that fear NEVER goes away, no matter how much they say they don't fear it) and limitations. Having my own disability and having face situations where my disability put me in life-threatening danger, I understand, viscerally, what he is up against. Having a disability, in one way, has its advantages, too. For one you learn to grow strong and overcome fear and limitations. Two, you learn to truly live within a community, relying on other people. All of us are reliant upon others to survive, but a disability brings this home in a way that doesn't allow argument or excuses or denial. Sometimes a very hard pill to swallow if you are proud and independent.

Ken's story is a great lesson for all of us going out there. The way he dealt with the situation is an great example of how things should be done and I'd very much like to see an article here about it.

Thanks for listening.

Miguel Arboleda
Tokyo, Japan

Edited by butuki on 05/04/2009 23:22:25 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: a little reflection on 05/05/2009 10:33:29 MDT Print View

Miguel, have you ever brought up to your doc for you to decrease insulin dosage as a way to keep blood sugar a little higher (only during your trip) so you don't run the risk of hypoglycemia? Doc may say hail no, but it'd be interesting to know his opinion. Incapacitating hypoglycemia will kill, but mild hyperglycemia won't. I guess the high sugar could cause an issue with water (increased thirst, increased urination) though.

Edited by jshann on 05/05/2009 10:46:57 MDT.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: a little reflection on 05/05/2009 11:54:53 MDT Print View

Hi John, yes, I do decrease the insulin, but it is often hard to gauge exactly how much when doing very strenuous walks. The stress from being in a foreign country and being pretty scared about whether I can manage to control everything while there kicks in, too, making it doubly hard to guess what doses I should take. For the most part I do pretty well with controlling the insulin when I'm in familiar territory, and most of the time I have no problems, but occasionally, as such things tend to do, things get out of whack.

I try as much as possible not to eat foods too high in sugar, and tend to do much better with carbohydrates that have a lot of fiber in them, making the energy last longer. But I also need to supplement that with good amounts of protein and fats. I tend to bonk when relying too much on carbohydrates, and that is what often causes the hypoglycemia.

My doctor is okay, but I've never had good diabetes care here in Japan. The medical system here is antediluvian and I'm always surprised by how much more knowledgeable diabetic patients are in the States and Europe. All my doctor said to me when I told her about walking the mountains was, "Wow! Your should write a book! None of my other patients do things like that!" No help beyond that.

Mark Hurd
(markhurd) - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: on staying put. on 05/05/2009 14:11:58 MDT Print View

When Ken realized he was lost he did what is generally recommended and stayed put. That single act may have saved his life, especially given his visual difficulties. I would offer that staying put is a brave and difficult thing to do for most of us. A poster here by the name of Lorraine Pace published the following in a thread about lost Mt Hood Climbers a couple of years ago. It is pretty long, but makes a great point and I think is worth the space.

-Mark
------------------------------------
Lorraine wrote:

Someone named Stuart posted this at www.buschcraftuk.com in the bushcraft and survival forum. It's brilliant so thought I'd share it. It's geared at hiking rather than climbing, but the idea works.

"Survival is all about a good cup of tea.

This is an idea which I suppose was born from a conversation I had with Mors about a year ago. we were sitting by the fire discussing Mors favourite beverage coffee, when we came to the conclusion that as long as you had what you needed to make a cup of coffee/tea/hot chocolate you could make yourself very comfortable in the wilderness.

I thought back to this conversation recently whilst in Brunei trying to form a lesson plan for teaching civilians (not survival/bushcraft enthusiasts) preparation and initial action plans for becoming lost in the jungle.


"FOR GOD'S SAKE MAN, DO SOMTHING!"

The primary mistake made by individuals who suddenly realise that they have become disorientated is to assume that they must do something immediately about their situation, even if they are not sure what exactly they should be doing.

This overwhelming urge to do something often leads to people choosing a random direction which they assure themselves is the right way, setting off and continuing to wander with increasing panic until darkness falls and they are forced to stop and endure an extremely uncomfortable night out.

of course the correct action would be to stay put, relax and think about the situation whilst preparing for the possibility of an extended stay, once you have relaxed and taken the time to think about what happened and observe your unfamiliar surroundings things often become clearer (this takes at least an hour) you may suddenly realise exactly where you went wrong and be able to orientate yourself with your surroundings.

if you don’t take the time to sit down relax and think, and instead simply push on without knowing where you are or where your going you are just making it harder for people to find you as the chances are high that you are simply walking further and further away from you planned route.

there are of course acronyms use for training the military which cover the correct actions in this situation:

S. stop
T. think
O. orientate
P. plan


however it has been my experience that the desire to be doing something to help the situation is so strong that many people will continue to wander aimlessly hoping they will find there way even whilst repeating to themselves Stop, think, orientate, plan. they have convinced themselves that the initial minute and thirty seconds that they stopped and looked around as it dawned on them that this wasn’t where they were supposed to be, constituted the stop, think and orientate portions and that deciding to walk "Thaddaway" constituted a plan.

what I felt was needed was a simple and familiar task which required little or no cognitive thought and which would occupy the individual satisfying their need to do something whilst at the same time forcing them to stay in one place long enough for them to relax and return to a rational state of mind.

this task would ideally be something that was static and took time to complete but which every individual knew how to accomplish without thought or any special training, it would also be beneficial if the task went some way to preparing them for an extended stay if necessary.

"TEA, TWO SUGARS PLEASE"

and thus I decided to tell my students that they should at all times carry a small pouch on their belt when heading out which contained all the items necessary to make a cup of tea in the bush and as soon as they found themselves outside there comfort zone they should immediately sit down and start brewing.

this action whilst satisfying the need to do something forces the individual to stop and prepare a fire, then boil some water, have a warming drink and a think, all without consciously thinking about it

in doing so they have created a fire which will provide them with warmth, cooking, water purification, light, a rescue signal, and psychological security.
They have hydrated themselves and provided warmth internally via the tea and more importantly the action of making a cup of tea is a familiar one and undertaking a familiar task makes the situation feel less threatening and goes some way to making the person psychologically more comfortable.

In addition to all this the ‘cup of tea’ method deals with a fundamental part of such situations which is often overlooked in survival and rescue training…. cultural attitudes and social stigma.

“WHY DON’T MEN ASK FOR DIRECTIONS?”

A fundamental factor when explaining why people acted the way they did when faced with the realisation that things were going wrong (and one which most effects men) is caused by social and cultural conditioning.

It is well known to search and rescue institutions the world over that lost men (its almost exclusively males) will sometimes deliberately hide from the search teams and some will deliberately injure themselves or freign an injury when they realise they are about to be rescued.

WHY? It’s the case of a simple five letter word which plays a big part in the physiological approach to a survival situation especially with males:

PRIDE

In the first instance they hide from the rescue teams because they are still convinced that they can get themselves out of this situation without the perceived shame and ridicule of having to be rescued, often they feel that they if they can quietly follow the rescue teams without being noticed they can get out and announce confidently “Lost? Me? Never! I knew exactly where I was, I didn’t need rescuing”

In the second instance people who are simply lost will injure themselves deliberately or fake an injury as they realise rescuers are coming for them, this time to avoid the perceived ridicule of being “an idiot who got lost and had to be rescued, by real men” with an injury (fake or otherwise) they can claim “yes I was making a daring ascent of the north face in whiteout conditions when I was caught in a rock fall and injured, I therefore had to await rescue whist enduring the harsh conditions and my injury, Lost? No not at all.”

Sounds crazy I know but any S&R personnel will confirm the above, Male pride is a powerful thing (powerfully stupid)

The other social aspect is the stigma attached to carrying survival equipment, many people fear that when Joe public asks “what’s in that pouch on your belt” and receives the reply “my survival kit” they will imagine them to be a Rambo wannabe who is probably a little strange and sleeps in camouflage pyjamas.

Even those that own survival kits often don’t carry them because “it’s only a day walk, I wont need it” the perception being that survival kits are for jungle expeditions and mountaineers

How does the cup or tea approach combat this then? Well the feeling that you must do something often stems from the fear of how you will be ridiculed if you don’t get yourself out and have to be rescued.

As an example scenario the group that I was teaching in Brunei were all expatriate workers and participants in the Hash, for those not familiar with Hashing it is a weekly social event which involves cross country running along trails marked with paper followed by much consumption of alcoholic beverages (often called a drinking club with a slight running problem).

Where ever there is an expat community there will be a hash club and the runs cover what ever terrain the country offers in Saudi Arabia the runs are done in the desert and here in Brunei they take place in the jungle, the participants don’t actually know where the trail goes they just follow the paper.

The combination of often harsh environments, the runners not actually knowing where they are going, and the often poor preparation of the participants who run off into the desert or jungle late in the evening wearing football boots, shorts and a t-shirt carrying only a 1lt of water means that becoming lost is common place and deaths although rare have occurred on hashes.

People who do become lost can look forward to the well established tradition of being ridiculed for the rest of the evening and forthcoming runs until the misfortune of someone else moves the focus of attention.

Hash clubs are a perfect example of the worst conditions for the social pressures which lead to serious survival situations.

Even though they are about to run a route they don’t know into the jungle/desert, runners don’t carry survival equipment because no one else does and they don’t want to appear odd, peer pressure at its best.

When a runner loses the trail they often don’t sit and wait to be found because this will entail ridicule, instead they wander desperately trying to find the trail again in the failing light.

In these often testosterone rich environments the cup of tea approach often works where others fail, by short circuiting the whole “Oh **** must do something, must find the trail, don’t want to look like a fool, I’ll go thaddaway” scenario.

With my students I simply instilled the understanding that if anyone asked what was in the pouch it wasn’t a survival kit, it was a brew kit for making a cup of tea when they took a rest stop. This doesn’t seem as odd to Joe public and seems positively normal if you happen to be English.

if you find yourself lost and disorientated with a sudden urge to do something and a fear of being ridiculed after rescue, STOP and make a cup of tea, since you haven’t wandered too far of course and you now have a fire someone will probably be along shortly and when they do happen upon you, your not lost you simply stopped for a cup of tea, would they like to join you? You can walk out together after.

And if no one finds you tonight, well you have a fire going, some water purified and enough tea for tomorrow and most importantly your not thrashing your way though the jungle in the dark, thirsty and exhausted with no idea where your going.

Survival, it’s as easy as making a cup of tea."

Kenneth Knight
(kenknight) - MLife

Locale: SE Michigan
Alive and Well on 05/05/2009 14:54:05 MDT Print View

I am alive and well. I realize everyone reading this thread knows this by now, but you have not heard it from me yet and it is high time I said so. I am healthy, happy, and getting my life back to normal.

I want to thank everyone who kept me in their thoughts. I especially want to thank the SAR teams that were searching for me along with the invaluable help of friends from Michigan and Backpacking Light's own Ryan Jordan.

I see that there has been discussion already taking place about what I should or should not have done, about whether a person with low-vision should even be allowed to hike, and what can be learned from this whole affair. I will have plenty to say in due time but I am not going to rush in and respond to specific comments in this thread at this time.

For now rest and relaxation is the order of the day.

Ken Knight

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Questions about the Ken Knight SAR Mission? on 05/05/2009 14:56:45 MDT Print View

Hello Everyone,

Ken will probably post a short hello here soon. Also, I know you all have abound a thousand questions for Ken, and about the rescue.

I've been compiling a long list of the important questions (and answers from first hand sources!) surrounding the incident, and will be posting it at BPL in the next 24 hours.

If you would like to submit a question to be considered for inclusion in the FAQ, please do so here:

Submit a Question about the Ken Knight SAR Mission

Thanks again for everyone's support during the past week. Pretty incredible community we have here. I'm really proud to be a part of it.

Best,
Ryan Jordan
CEO Backpacking Light

Edited by ryan on 05/05/2009 15:13:59 MDT.

Chris Chastain
(Thangfish) - F

Locale: S. Central NC, USA
Re: Alive and Well on 05/05/2009 16:54:46 MDT Print View

"...every now and then I know it's kinda hard to tell, but I'm still Alive and Well!" - Rick Derringer

Welcome back. Can hardly wait for the story.