Archive for the 'Survival' Category

Severed Rattlesnake Head Bites Man, Nearly Kills Him

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

Fox News:

A Texas man is recovering after he claims the head of a rattlesnake bit him — moments after he had just cut it off.

Jennifer Sutcliffe’s husband was reportedly bitten by the beheaded snake on May 27 at his home near Lake Corpus Christi.

Sutcliffe told KIII-TV the two were doing yard work when she came across the four-foot rattlesnake. She said her husband used a shovel to behead the snake, but when he went to dispose of it, it bit him.

The snake, Sutcliffe said, “released all its venom into him at that point” because it no longer had a body, and her husband reportedly began immediately experiencing seizures and internal bleeding, and lost his vision.

The man was transported via helicopter to a hospital, where doctors said there was a chance he wouldn’t make it.

“A normal person who is going to get bit is going to get two to four doses of antivenom,” Sutcliffe told the news station. “He had to have 26 doses.”

Her husband is now in stable condition but is suffering from weak kidney functions, Sutcliffe said.

I’ll tell you what, snakes can lay a wallop on you.  I don’t expect this is something that many folk from the far north can understand, but down South and in the Southwest, you’ve got to be very careful where you step and where you reach.  I’ve been bitten by a Copperhead, and so has my dog.

They usually aren’t deadly if treated, but you can lose fingers, hands, toes, feet or whatever if not treated.  A Cottonmouth (Water Moccasin) is worse, but the king of the pit vipers in America is the rattlesnake.  The worst of them (most venomous pit viper in America) is the Eastern Diamondback, and not far behind is the Eastern Timber.

Be careful out there this summer.

Are You Prepared For Survival?

BY Herschel Smith
9 months, 4 weeks ago

Puerto Rico today:

All of Puerto Rico has lost power after deadly Hurricane Maria swept through the island on Wednesday – with winds that blew the roofs off homes and flash floods that turned roads into rivers.

Leaving at least nine people dead in its wake across the Caribbean, Hurricane Maria blew ashore in the morning in the southeast coastal town of Yabucoa as a Category 4 storm with winds of 155 mph.

While the eye of the storm has since moved off the island and weakened to a Category 2 hurricane, it’s expected to continue lashing the island of 3.4million with life-threatening winds, storm surge and rain through this evening.

‘Once we’re able to go outside, we’re going to find our island destroyed,’ said Abner Gomez, Puerto Rico’s emergency management director. ‘The information we have received is not encouraging. It’s a system that has destroyed everything in its path.’

It looks like dystopia, doesn’t it?

Two weeks ago it was a hard week trying to prepare for Hurricane Irma.  We managed to find a Generac 5500 generator when almost all generators had been sent to Texas.  Gas lines were long and prices were elevated, and gas cans were triple the cost from a month prior.  And then they were gone.  So it didn’t matter whether you could buy gas – you couldn’t store it.

We had to think about batteries, perishable food, trying to get non-perishable food, potable water, dog food (have you considered your beasts in the event of something like this?), and on and on the list goes.  To some extent we had the non-perishable food situation handled, but not well enough for my future comfort level.

I lived through Hurricane Hugo, and was without power for two weeks.  I wasn’t prepared for it either.  At the time it rolled through I was preparing for the engineering PE examination.  The exam date in October wasn’t going to change because of the storm, so I had to redeem the time.

I lined my kitchen table with candles and worked PE review problems for two weeks by candlelight (old school, pen and paper).  But I wasn’t going to relive my Hugo experience unprepared, so we worked hard to prepare.  I consider Hurricane Irma yet another warning shot over the bow.

For the future, we need to be thinking about more than just guns and ammunition (although that’s first on the list).  We need to think long term survival in the form of food caches, freeze-dried foods, large scale water filtration rather than the small scale I currently have, and you could probably add endlessly to this list.  Feel free to do so in the comments.

I am of the considered opinion that a hurricane is the least of our worries when considering the ills that may befall us in the future.  Puerto Rico won’t rebuild for years, and won’t have power for more than half a year, if then.  Are you prepared for an attack on our electrical grid?  For civil strife and/or civil war?  For contamination of our water supplies?  For a run on the banks and a completely devalued dollar?

No, neither am I.  Not as well as I ought to be.

Lost In The Smoky Mountains

BY Herschel Smith
10 months, 3 weeks ago


GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL FOREST, N.C. — A Tennesee teen last seen more than 10 days ago was found Tuesday afternoon after walking out of the Great Smoky Mountains, WLOS reports.

Austin Bohanan was found around 2:30 p.m. after walking out of the remote backcountry area near Tabcat Creek in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, according to a National Parks Service statement.

He was taken to Blount Memorial Hospital in Maryville, Tennessee.

Bohanan was reportedly last seen hiking off-trail in the remote southwest corner of the park on the evening of Friday, Aug. 11, 2017. He was reported missing around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 13 to Blount County authorities.

On Tuesday, four search teams consisting of rangers from the parks Search and Rescue team, officers with Tennessee Wildlife Resource Authority and individuals with the Backcountry Unit Search and Rescue team (BUSAR) had a total of 19 people searching the area. The search continued with canine teams and other special search teams.

Bohanan “had light food and water and was not anticipating spending the night in the park,” according to park spokeswoman Jamie Sanders.

He spent eleven days in the Southern bush.  He was unprepared for what faced him and he’s blessed to be alive.  The rescue team made an official statement, to the effect that “From day one, we treated the search for Austin as an emergency and appreciate the resources from across the region that came to our aid to help us actively and aggressively search through extremely tough terrain,” said Park Chief Ranger Steve Kloster. “We faced multiple challenges, including a moving target in dense conditions, but our search teams never gave up hope.”

But it was Austin who self-rescued.

On Tuesday morning, rangers explained he woke up on a ridge and saw a boat and some kayaks on Abrams Creek below. He scrambled down to the water and waved to the boaters, who picked him up and gave him a ride to safety.

That’s not to diminish the efforts of the rescue team, but the higher probability rescue in this circumstance is self-rescue.  Even the rescue team had to have water and food assistance from the community to keep going.  The search area was 6700 acres, which is 10.469 square miles.  This may not seem like a lot, but in the back country in the South, it is an eternity of land.

This is what Austin and his rescuers faced.

Steep terrain, dense vegetation, deadfall, blowdown, and almost impenetrable bush.  But we’ve discussed in detail what you should carry with you even if you’re going for a day hike thinking that you’re not going to be far from the beaten path.

(1) heavy rubberized poncho, (2) 550 cord, (3) gun, (4) tactical light, (5) fire starter [redundant means], (6) knife [serrated edge], (7) water and fast food energy, and (8) parka.

I carry this in a day pack.  For eleven days, you can add to this list a container with which you can boil water.  With the rubberized poncho and cordage, you have shelter.  With the gun and tactical light you have protection.  With the knife you have virtually everything (never leave home without a knife).

In the South he could have encountered problems with Copperheads, Timber Rattlers, black bear, feral hogs and Coyotes.  Coyotes in the West may still travel as lone predators, but in the South they have learned to travel in packs.  Many hunters in these parts have gone out at dusk only to find five or six pairs of eyes staring at them and encircling them closer and closer.  Retreat is the best option at that point, but if Austin couldn’t have retreated, he would have needed a firearm, and possibly more ammunition.

If this seems like overkill, just remember when you go into the bush.  You’re not in control of everything – the bush gets a say.  Try to be wise about the things you do control.

Black Bear Attacks Bow Hunter

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 1 month ago

I’ll leave it to readers to fisk this event.  This man is blessed to be alive, as far I can tell.

26 Miles Through The Snow In The Grand Canyon And Almost Dead

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 6 months ago

LA Times:

The snow was at least 3 feet deep and still falling when Tracy Glover and two other men came upon the fee booth at the North Rim entrance of the Grand Canyon.

The door to the booth was always unlocked, according to Glover, the Kane County, Utah, sheriff. Inside were sleeping bags, food, water, matches — items that Karen Klein could have used on this particular Christmas Eve as she and her family found themselves stranded in a remote region of the National Park near the Arizona-Utah border. It was an oasis of warmth within a freezing forest.

“I thought she might’ve made it there,” Glover said.

But after walking 26 miles, dragging a bad left leg with no shoe through the snow, Klein had found another shelter instead — a cabin nestled in the trees about 100 yards away with no power and just a few blankets. She had to break a window to gain entry.

About 5 hours after entering the park, Glover reached the cabin. When he found Klein, she had stripped off her wet beanie and outer layers of clothing and was lying on the bed. She was exhausted. Dehydrated. She had been hallucinating. Frostbite had gotten to her toes and fingers. Glover said they quickly built a fire in the cabin and called a dispatcher to relay the message to her husband and son, who had been rescued hours earlier: Karen Klein was alive.

Klein, 46, of Easton, Pa., was on vacation in Las Vegas with her husband and 10-year-old son when they decided to hit Bryce Canyon and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon on Christmas week. But on the drive to the North Rim, their GPS alerted them to the closure of Arizona Highway 67.

It diverted them onto a Forest Service road that is mostly gravel. The car eventually got stuck. Worry settled in.

With no cellphone service and Eric Klein recently recovering from a back injury, Karen Klein, a triathlete, decided to hike for help as snow kept falling. She ended up traversing 26 miles over the course of about 36 hours before Glover found her in the small cabin.

She told “Good Morning America” that as she hiked in search of help, she forced herself to stay awake at night and ate twigs from an aspen tree. She put snow in her cheek to try to stay hydrated.

I don’t care is she was superwoman.  She was unprepared for this, at this time, in these conditions.  We have discussed the bare minimum for being out in the bush: (1) heavy rubberized poncho, (2) 550 cord, (3) gun, (4) tactical light, (5) fire starter, (6) knife [serrated edge], and (7) water and fast food energy.

In these conditions, you can add the right kind of boots (very expensive and not routinely taken on car trips), wool clothing, Gore-Tex, insulated cover (e.g., wool hat), heavy insulated gloves, and eye protection (Goggles and perhaps sun glasses during the daylight hours to prevent snow blindness).

I’m not a big fan of staying where you are, and I’m a much bigger fan of taking what you need or may need.  But in this case, the woman should have stayed where she was.  She’s no good to her family dead.

The Importance Of A Shelter In Survival

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 2 months ago

Outdoor Life has an interesting list of 26 survival myths that can get you killed.  It’s well worth reading all of them.  This one in particular struck me.

14. A big fire beats a shelter
Large-log fires have kept people alive in the cold, but that doesn’t mean you can afford to skip building a shelter. What if it rains or becomes really windy? You never want to sleep out in the open if you can help it. Take the time to build a shelter. It will pay you back every time.

Well yes, there’s the issue of rain, which will kill you if you attempt to sleep in it all night.  The wind is another issue, and is related to the primary reason I would recommend building a shelter.

There are four types of heat transfer: conductive, convective, radiant and evaporative.  In the absence of survival gear, you need to build a bed of pine bows, straw, leaves and other things to lift you off of the ground to prevent conductive heat transfer (which occurs when two bodies are in contact) from your body to the ground.

If the wind is blowing, that means that convective heat transfer is occurring.  But one often overlooked reason for a shelter is the fact that the universe becomes an infinite heat sink at night.  Your body is radiating heat to the universe without a shelter over you.

Even if you only bend branches and use saplings and construct a hemispherical cage over which you throw leaves and mulch (a common emergency shelter in the South), you need to have a shelter at night.  Never travel so long and so far that you forego the construction of a shelter to keep you alive until morning.

Survival Gear

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 6 months ago

It’s that time of year again.  Be careful out there.  This is one man’s take.

Though Falls Creek is a short hike, winter is no time to fool with the elements. Read the harrowing account of Mischelle Hileman of Wallowa, who lost both legs to exposure after what was intended to be a 45-minute elk hunt in 2002, if you’re thinking otherwise.

Regardless of the time of year, I always carry matches, kindling, water, a compass, whistle, survival blanket, poncho, flashlight and lots of power bars — and generally the dog. Off-leash Well=behaved dogs are allowed off-leash throughout Eagle Cap.

I have my own list, similar to but slightly more robust than above.  I’ve discussed it before.

550 cord, a tarp or rubberized rain poncho, trekking poles, a gun, water, protein bars, a tactical light, redundant means of fire starting, a small water filtration device or a small container of household bleach, a tactical knife, clothing for warmth (e.g., parka, emergency Mylar thermal blankets), and a compass.

With this simple list you can have shelter, fire, self protection, warmth, light, and ability to stay dry.  And if you’re going out in the woods, stop and buy a lighter or Ferrocerium rod.  Do this whether you’re going in the wilderness for one hour, one afternoon, or one week.  Do it regardless of how long you intend to be in the wilderness.

I’ve also explained what I do for fire when intending to go into the wilderness.  For every night I expect to be in the wild, I put a briquette of match light charcoal and a cotton ball soaked in Vaseline into a waterproof container (one piece of charcoal and one cotton ball for each night).  The cotton ball starts immediately, and helps the charcoal to start within seconds.  This makes fire starting quick in the event that you get wet when it’s cold or in the case of wet wood.

As I’ve implied, with 550 cordage and a poncho or tarp, along with trekking poles, you can have shelter in under two minutes if needed.  With redundant means of fire starting along with charcoal or char-cloth, you can have fire even when everything is wet.  With a parka and mylar blanket, you can have warmth when you need it (I have many parkas, my all-time favorite is Simms).  With a handgun (and an additional magazine or a few loaded moon clips) you have protection, and with a good tactical knife, you have a cutting tool or a chopping tool.  I carry a heavy folder, such as a Ka-Bar Mule, or CRKT M16-14DSFG-Tanto, always something with serrated edge.  Otherwise I carry a Ka-Bar straight edge fighting/utility knife, again, with a serrated edge.

This is my version of ultralight.  This list doesn’t weigh more than 10-15 lbs.  In case I haven’t mentioned it before, unless something has gone badly wrong, I will always have my baby with me, like the writer above.

Equipped For Survival

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 8 months ago

First, a wonderful example of being equipped and prepared for survival:

A young teenager lost on a hunting trip is safe with his family Sunday night after he was missing for more than 24 hours in the Southern Colorado wilderness outside Custer County.

Clayton Jones, 13, was found by family friends Sunday morning just after 10:30 a.m.

Jones spent 27 hours on his own in the woods after getting separated from his father and grandfather around 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

“I was a bit freaked out,” Clayton said. “It was a little scary, I just wanted to get home.”

This teenager got thanks to his savvy survival skills. More than 12 hours after his ordeal began with no sign of another person let alone his family, Clayton had to seek shelter.

“I did build a fire,” Clayton said. “After I got warm, I saw a cabin and slept the night on their deck. The next morning, I found a road, kept going and ran into friends and they brought me back.”

When he received word his son was safe, Barry Jones started balling.

“I cried for 10 minutes,” Jones said. “I couldn’t even talk. To have a kid missing for that much time, whew, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever been through in my life. I taught him good, but I don’t care how much experience he has. I don’t care if he’s 35, I’m going to worry about him.

Clayton’s survival kit included food, water, rain gear, gloves and a knife.

Barry Jones teaches wilderness survival classes.

The smart lad got off the cold ground, built a fire, had food, water, rain gear and a knife.  I only recommend a few more things.  He did well.

Now for an extremely bad example from some adults.

Three hunters caught out by a snowstorm got a lucky break early this morning.

The trio had returned to their vehicle last night but became stuck. However, they were later airlifted out of the Te Papanui conservation block, 50km west of Dunedin, suffering from mild hypothermia.

Police were alerted about 5pm yesterday and a search and rescue team, which included three four-wheel-drive vehicles and a helicopter, tried to get into the area. However, poor weather stopped them from reaching the stranded hunters.

At 2am, the weather improved enough to allow a helicopter to get into the area and the men were airlifted out.

Constable Donald Peat said that the hunters were not properly equipped for the hunting trip.

”They were not carrying any survival equipment, such as extra clothing, extra food, sleeping bags or a personal emergency locator beacon,” Peat said.

It just doesn’t take much to be prepared: 550 cord, a tarp or rubberized rain poncho, trekking poles, a gun, water, protein bars, a tactical light, redundant means of fire starting, a small water filtration device or a small container of household bleach, a tactical knife, clothing for warmth (e.g., parka, emergency Mylar thermal blankets), and a compass.

With this simple list you can have shelter, fire, self protection, warmth, light, and ability to stay dry.  And if you’re going out in the woods, stop and buy a lighter or Ferrocerium rod.  Do this whether you’re going in the wilderness for one hour, one afternoon, or one week.  Do it regardless of how long you intend to be in the wilderness.

I’ve also explained what I do for fire when intending to go into the wilderness.  For every night I expect to be in the wild, I put a briquette of match light charcoal and a cotton ball soaked in Vaseline into a waterproof container (one piece of charcoal and one cotton ball for each night).  The cotton ball starts immediately, and helps the charcoal to start within seconds.  This makes fire starting quick in the event that you get wet when it’s cold or in the case of wet wood.

Prior: Wilderness Survival

Survival In The White Mountains

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 1 month ago

Boston Globe:

Eric Mazur has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, skied down Mont Blanc, gone back-country skiing in the Rockies. Besides being a dean of applied physics at Harvard, Mazur knows his way around maps, compasses, and GPS coordinates.

But it was on a recent ski-trekking trip in the White Mountains of New Hampshire that he and a group of his students faced life-threatening peril. “We came very close to not making it out at all,” says Mazur.

A combination of near-zero temperatures, bad luck, and regrettable decisions in a massive wilderness area with no cellphone reception turned an overnight outing into a near-disaster. The story of the weekend in the woods is a lesson on how quickly events can take an ominous turn — and how grit ultimately got the group out of a frozen labyrinth.

All six suffered hypothermia and dehydration. Three had severe frostbite that turned gangrous. One was hallucinating. By the time they got to the emergency room at Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth, N.H., their body temperatures hovered near 92 degrees. At 90 degrees, Mazur says, the brain doesn’t get adequate oxygen “and that’s the end.”

Mazur has been unable to wear shoes on his frostbitten toes since the February misadventure. He wears open-toed post-op shoes, and three toes on his right foot remain at risk.

They left Fraser’s car in a parking lot off the Kancamagus Highway not far from Loon Mountain in case they decided to take a southern route out the next day — a route Mazur had done only once, the first time he led a group.

This is where Mazur typically would have questioned rangers about the southern trails: Which are broken in for skis? Which bridges are out? But because they were running late, and he thought Fraser had already asked, Mazur did not speak with the ranger, which he would later regret.

They then drove north to the departure point, a parking lot on Route 302, a few miles from Bretton Woods. It was noon when they donned cross-country skis and shouldered backpacks containing food, water, clothes, and sleeping bags that weighed about 30 pounds each. They had reserved bunks for the night at the Zealand Falls hut, run by the Appalachian Mountain Club.

Mazur relaxed. The paths were clear, the sun out, the fir and birch glades beautiful, the views spectacular. There was a lot of uphill trekking to the hut, which is at 2,600 feet, but they made it by late afternoon. For dinner, they ate the minestrone soup and pasta they’d packed.

Zealand Falls, one of only two White Mountains huts open in the winter, was at capacity with 36 bunks.

The next morning, they decided to explore the southern trail that would ultimately lead to Fraser’s car. If conditions were too difficult, they could always turn around.

But they didn’t set a point of no return and found themselves bogged down on an unbroken trail in deep snow. Single file, they took turns in the lead positions to break in the trail, but made slow progress. The hut ranger had assured them their hiking plans were solid, crossing the Presidential Range toward Loon Mountain.

“He made it appear like it was a walk in the woods,” says Mazur. That’s pretty much what Mazur thought, too: “The White Mountains don’t look like Everest or K2. I’ve always considered them a little bigger than hills.”

It was 15 miles from the hut to the parking lot near Loon, a full day’s hike under the best of circumstances. But this was February of a record-breaking winter. Many of the blue trail markers on the trees were covered with snow.

And there were many fallen trees, with all six having to take off their skis whenever they had to climb over. Each tree meant a 10-minute delay and “there were dozens and dozens and dozens of trees,” Mazur says.

Then there were the creek crossings: “down six feet and up six feet,” each one a 20-minute affair. “Meanwhile, the clock was ticking,” says Mazur.

Their water containers froze solid. They each had only an energy bar to eat. The trail, when they could find it, had become nearly impassable, unbroken and littered with obstacles.

As the sun set, Mazur still wasn’t too concerned; he’d summited Kilimanjaro using a headlamp. At about 6 p.m., now wearing their headlamps, the group reached Stillwater Junction, where several branches of the Pemigewasset River merge. Once across the frozen river, according to Mazur’s GPS, they would hit tracks.

Instead, they were greeted by more fallen trees and huge boulders. Mazur’s ski binding malfunctioned, so he took off his skis and carried them. His feet were freezing and wet. The temperature, he believes, was close to zero.

At 7 p.m., they were still 10 miles away from the southern parking lot. They were hungry, thirsty, and exhausted. “At that point, the group started to disintegrate,” Mazur says.

Two people wanted to return north to the Zealand Falls hut. But that was a 12-hour hike back. Two wanted to build an igloo-type shelter, but they had no tools, and it would take hours. Mazur and Kelly Miller, a graduate student from Toronto and the only woman in the group, agreed: They had to keep moving south.

At 1:30 a.m., they got to a creek that wasn’t frozen over and was dotted with tree trunks. Fraser led, then Mazur, followed by the others. It would take an hour for all to cross. Shivering on the other side, Mazur told Fraser that he could not stay still, he had to keep moving and would call for help as soon as he got cell reception. Fraser would wait for the others. Each person had a GPS.

The trail descended and Mazur’s skis picked up speed as his headlamp weakened. “Here I am with 30 pounds on my back on an icy trail in the dark, and I don’t know what’s ahead,” he says. “If you fall, it’s hard to get up.”

When his GPS died, he dug out the spare battery, but because of the cold, it would not turn on. By this time, Mazur and the others had been in constant motion for nearly 20 hours, with little water or food.

At 3 a.m., he reached a closed campground, where a map was posted. He still had 2.5 miles to go, but at least he was on the right trail.

Mazur says he never worried that they might not make it out. “But what I didn’t realize was the danger of hypothermia.”

It was 4:30 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 17, when he reached the parking lot.

You can hit the Boston Globe to see how it ends.  So I beat on this endlessly here, but this is ripe for yet another beating.

The point where this expedition took a turn for the potentially deadly is when they were trudging along in the dark, wet and exhausted.  To my readers, if you ever find yourself traipsing down the trail in the dark, exhausted, dehydrated, cold, hungry and wet, you’ve screwed up.  Don’t go past dark.  Simply don’t do it.

Give me 30 pounds and I could have packed enough gear to have made it for a week in the mountains.  Give me 15-20 pounds and I could have been comfortable that night.

You don’t keep going.  You stop with daylight left because you have the wisdom to know that you’re not going to make it back.  You ensconce yourself in a shelter of your own making if necessary.  If you aren’t carrying a tent, carry a tarp with 550 cord and use trekking poles for support along with trees.

Cut pine bows from surrounding trees to lay down to keep the ground from sucking heat out of your body.  Gather wood, and use the 5X rule (gather five times more than you think you need to make it through the night).

If you have a sleeping bag you’ll likely be warm, if not you have the fire.  Carry a steel or aluminum container with you and you can boil snow or river (or even puddle) water to make it potable water (and in spite of what you hear know-it-all Cody Lundin say, it isn’t pronounced “pottable,” it is pronounced ˈpō-tə-bəl).

I’ve never understood survivalists who want to teach people to survive with nothing.  My philosophy is not to carry nothing.  Carry something.  That something, as I’ve recommended before, is this: (1) gun, (2) fire starter, (3) small tactical light, (4) container, (5) heavy rubberized poncho (or better yet, tarp), (6) 550 cord, and (7) knife.

With this simple list you can have shelter, fire, self protection, warmth, light, and ability to stay dry.  And if you’re going out in the woods, stop and buy a lighter or ferro rod.  Do this whether you’re going in the wilderness for one hour, one afternoon, or one week.  Do it regardless of how long you intend to be in the wilderness.

How much easier can this be?  Don’t go into the wilderness unprepared, and don’t travel after dark.

Nature Hike Turns Bad: Three Days In The Congaree Forest

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 2 months ago

Fox News:

CONGAREE NATIONAL PARK, S.C. –  Search crews have found a father and his two children who had been missing for more than two days in the vast woods and swamps of the Congaree National Park in South Carolina, officials said Tuesday.

In a news release, the National Park Service said rangers had located J.R. Kimbler, his 10-year-old son, Dakota, and his 6-year-old daughter, Jade.

The three did not appear to be seriously hurt and were being taken to a local hospital for observation, officials said. Authorities planned to release more information later in the day.

Crews traveling by airplane, boat and on foot had been looking for the family in the 27,000-acre site since the father sent a text message late Saturday saying they were lost.

Officials closed the park Monday afternoon during the search. An investigative team from the National Park Service had also checked on leads outside the park in case the family members had not been lost while hiking.

There had been no indication Kimbler, 43, took any camping gear or other items for an overnight stay. The taxi driver left his cigarettes in his cab that was still parked near the visitor’s center Monday, and his daughter’s inhaler and other medicine were in the hotel room where he lived, according to his family.

The park has marked trails, but beyond the paths are tangles of old growth trees, swamps and underbrush. The land has become even more rugged since an ice storm in February knocked down thousands of trees and limbs.

“Many of the trails you can’t see to navigate right now,” said Sana Sohen, a park service spokeswoman.

ABC News reports that “Kimbler and his two children – Dakota, 10, and Jade, 6 – set out for a nature hike Saturday in Congaree National Park. They soon found themselves lost in the 27,000-acre park with no food, water or supplies … During the ordeal, the family drank dirty rain water collected in puddle, and even tried unsuccessfully eating wild turkey eggs.”

The Congaree National Park is more than 40 square miles of old growth forest and swamp, the original stomping grounds of General Francis Marion, legendary Swamp Fox of the war for independence.  It’s no place to go out unprepared and without a knowledge of the area.

We’ve covered this many times before.  I don’t even go on day hikes without a day pack or patrol bag, water, energy bars, tactical light, poncho, fire starting equipment, compass, 550 cord and a gun.

With the gun you can defend yourself and perhaps obtain food, even with a handgun.  With the poncho and 550 cord you have instant shelter in the rain and can avoid hypothermia.    With the fire you have heat and light along with water purification, with the water you pack in you have temporary hydration and a container for collecting more water (it’s best to pack a water container that can be put into the fire).

With the compass you have navigation, and with energy bars you have relief from food gathering in the initial stages of survival.  With pack, water, bars, heavy rubberized poncho, 550 cord and a gun (with several magazines) you can get by with less than 15-20 pounds.

If you can’t pack in 15-20 pounds, you shouldn’t be going into 27,000 acre old growth forest and swamp that managed to destroy the morale of troops commanded by General Charles Cornwallis.

26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (679)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (32)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (14)
Ammunition (46)
Animals in War (4)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (127)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (66)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (26)
Australian Army (5)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (64)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (17)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (2)
Blogs (10)
Body Armor (18)
Books (3)
Border War (8)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (35)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (2)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (10)
Christmas (9)
CIA (26)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (2)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (216)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (139)
Department of Homeland Security (20)
Disaster Preparedness (3)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (9)
Donald Trump (2)
Drone Campaign (3)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (2)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (24)
Featured (179)
Federal Firearms Laws (18)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (866)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (15)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (42)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (7)
Georgia (19)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (750)
Guns (1,366)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (8)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (12)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (1)
Horses (1)
Humor (15)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (66)
India (10)
Infantry (4)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (2)
Intelligence (23)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (169)
Iraq (379)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (57)
Islamists (85)
Israel (18)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (2)
Jihadists (80)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (3)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (3)
Lawfare (6)
Leadership (5)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (50)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (252)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
Media (39)
Memorial Day (4)
Mexican Cartels (24)
Mexico (33)
Michael Yon (5)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (4)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (5)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (23)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (16)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (28)
NATO (15)
Navy (22)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (3)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (56)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (218)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (6)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (48)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (2)
Pizzagate (21)
Police (345)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (379)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (144)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (75)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (29)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (233)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (27)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (19)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (3)
Survival (17)
SWAT Raids (54)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (1)
Tactical Gear (3)
Taliban (167)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (16)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (94)
Thanksgiving (7)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (15)
TSA Ineptitude (11)
TTPs (1)
U.S. Border Patrol (5)
U.S. Border Security (14)
U.S. Sovereignty (17)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (3)
Uncategorized (46)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (2)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (216)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (3)
War Reporting (18)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (59)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (20)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2018 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.