Archive for the 'Survival' Category



Couple that died of extreme heat on hike were trying to save their baby, probe finds

BY Herschel Smith
23 hours, 33 minutes ago

Sent from a reader, a sad analysis.

The couple found dead on a Northern California hiking trail over the summer desperately tried to save their 1-year-old daughter before all three succumbed to extreme heat as temperatures soared to 109 degrees, investigators found.

British software engineer Jonathan Gerrish, 45, his wife Ellen Chung, 31, and their daughter, Miju were found dead of hyperthermia and dehydration on a remote Sierra National Forest hiking trail in August.

Their dog, Oski — an 8-year-old Australian shepherd and Akita mix — also died on the trail.

Investigators now believe the couple was desperately seeking for medical help for Miju, before they themselves succumbed to the brutal temperatures, according to a new 77-page report obtained by The San Francisco Chronicle.

Officials ruled out several other factors for their deaths through the course of the investigation, including murder, lightning strikes, poisoning, illegal drugs and suicide.

A survival trainer wrote in an email to detectives that in all likelihood, the parents’ panicked efforts to help the baby — who likely began suffering from symptoms first — possibly led to their own deaths.

“Sadly, I believe they were caught off guard, and once they realized their situation, they died trying to save their child and each other,” the trainer wrote to detectives, according to The Chronicle.

He called the mix of the terrain, elevation and heat a “deadly trifecta.”

“It is likely the child began to succumb first, which hurried the parents’ efforts up the hill,” the trainer wrote. “When one could no longer continue, they stayed behind to care for the child and pet, while the other tried to forge on and get help for their loved ones. It is a tragedy of the highest order.”

First of all, remember the necessary life-saving kit that MUST be carried in the bush: Rubberized poncho, parka, redundant fire start, large bore handgun, food energy, cordage, tactical light, knife, water and means of water filtration.  This might have saved their lives.

Beyond this, I was commenting to my oldest son not too many days ago that the biggest enemy of survival in the bush is panic.  If you carry the right kit, you can be in the position where you say to yourself or loved ones, “I don’t know where we are, but it’s getting dark and we need warmth, shelter, water and rest.  We have the right kit for it, so we camp here for the night and get a safe, good night sleep, and carry on at first light.”

If you panic, adrenalin rushes into your system, you expend way too much energy, your judgment is clouded and you’re more likely to do stupid things, you get exhausted, the exhaustion makes you cold, and you risk hypothermia.

In the bush, panic is your enemy.  It sounds as if they didn’t have the right kit, and they panicked.

It’s a sad but preventable story.

Oregon Woman And Her Mentally Disabled Daughter Lost In Idaho Wilderness, Woman Deceased

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks, 1 day ago

News from the Northeast.

An elderly dementia sufferer died after getting lost in a remote forest after following GPS guidance to travel to a funeral with her mentally-disabled daughter.

Deputies say the pair – Dorothy ‘Kae’ Turner, 84, and daughter Heidi Turner, 58 – were following a navigation system from Pendleton, Oregon to Salt Lake City when they got lost in the northern Idaho forest. Relatives say Dorothy suffered from dementia.

Dorothy left to find help when their car broke down, but died from exposure to the elements while Heidi, who is mentally disabled, stayed behind. She survived her ordeal, although no further updates on her condition have been given.

A hunter discovered the mother’s body in the Solitaire Saddle area of the Panhandle National Forest and reported it to the authorities at 11.45am Friday, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies then discovered the broken-down gold 2015 Chrysler Town and Country minivan nearby with the daughter still alive and suffering from minor injuries.

A family member who reported them missing said they were taking an ‘unusual route’ through Idaho, according to the East Idaho News. They were reported missing from Pendleton, about 5 hours southwest of the forest, on Wednesday.

‘They were en route to Salt Lake City, UT from Pendleton, OR for a family funeral. Kay suffers from dementia and we have reason to believe that they may be lost and/or in danger,’ family member Doniell Taylor Arnold said in a Facebook post Thursday.

The maps and pictures of this area show it to be extremely remote, except obviously for hunters.

Take a look at the woman who ventured out on her own.  With her age, she had no hope of survival in the wilderness.

Lesson: Don’t allow family members to go out into the bush unprepared.  That lady never had a chance.

Five people have disappeared into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and never come out, with bodies never recovered.

The GSMNP is more than half a million acres.  Jones Gap in S.C. is around 13,000 acres, and people have gone missing for a period of time there.  Later, it was learned that they didn’t know what they were doing in the bush.

The missing hikers were not prepared to spend the night in the woods, according to rescue crews. They did not take food, water or flashlights.

The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office used their drone with thermal imaging to search for the teens. The area is remote with little cell coverage, according to Jones.

If efforts to find them with the drone are unsuccessful …

They ended up having to walk out on their own.

I’ve hiked Jones Gap many times.  You can die there, and I almost lost a dog from a slick rock leading to a waterfall.

Your strategy in the bush is just this: be prepared enough not to have to panic.  If you panic, adrenalin shoots into your system, you make stupid decisions, you expend too much energy, you get tired, the exhaustion leads to being cold, and being cold leads to exposure and possible hypothermia.

Be prepared enough to be able to say, “Well, we’re not where I thought we were.  We’re going to spend this night in the bush.  Let’s make camp before dark, gather firewood, set up some shelter, find water, gather bedding materials, and ration food.  We’ll find our way out tomorrow.”

Continuing when it’s almost dark leads to death.  Always carry the following: med kit, flashlight, redundant means of fire start, rubberized poncho or tarp, parka, large bore handgun, water and water filter, food energy, cordage and knife.  Even on day hikes.  Especially on day hikes.

PanFaWar Conditions

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

Michael Yon on the Pandemic-Famine-War conditions.

China has shut down Magnesium smelters to save electricity during their energy crunch.

Without Magnesium, there is no Aluminum.  We are weeks away from shutting down.

87% of Magnesium comes from China, because it is impossible to build a new smelter in the EU, USA or Canada.

Yea, I know.

This affects everything from AR-15 lowers to automobiles.

Prepare for a time of dearth and scarcity in everything from machinery and repair parts to food.  But you knew that already.

Minimalist Survival Kit

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

That’s extremely minimalist.  Too small for me.  I’ve outlined what I usually carry into the bush before: rubberized poncho, redundant means of fire start, light, knife, poncho, cordage, water, emergency food, and large bore handgun.  Including a container to boil water is smart.

Notice that when he mentions bank line, he shows you twisted line.  There are two types of bank linetwisted and braided.  Decide for yourself which one you want.

Number One Consideration In Survival: Water

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Some guy is apparently on the run, possibly in the Florida bush.

Alligators, black bears, clouds of gnawing insects. Two different types of rattlesnakes. Coyotes, bobcats and panthers. Everything is wet, almost nothing is edible, and safe drinking water is nowhere to be found.

If Brian Laundrie actually is deep in the Florida wilderness, a survival expert in Sarasota said that by now, he’s either dead or in very bad shape.

“If he’s down there in the Carlton Reserve, he’s living in hell,” local survival expert Mark Burrow said.

With heavy rain in recent days, starting a fire will be nearly impossible. It’s also the wrong season for foraging edible plants, Burrow said.

He said Laundrie may be able to scavenge leftovers from a predator’s kill. There also are freshwater clams and snails he could collect. Fishing is another possibility.

“People have been making a big deal of the alligators and the snakes,” Burrow said. “But it’s dehydration that’s the real danger.”

Even if he were able to get a fire started to boil water, recent rains will have made the drinking water full of tannins from local foliage. Tannins occur in the roots, wood, and bark of oak trees, and high concentrations can be harmful to humans, Burrow said.

“That can cause loose bowels,” he said. “Not a good thing when you are already dehydrated.”

When it comes to animals, the area’s bears and panthers are not likely to bother humans. But if Laundrie is injured or struggling, he will also have to deal with coyotes and bobcats.

“If you were injured or exhausted,” Burrow said, “they would eat you.”

There are at least four different types of venomous snakes in Carlton Reserve, the cottonmouth likely being the most dangerous. There’s also the pigmy rattlesnake, the diamondback rattlesnake, and the coral snake.

I wouldn’t be too worried about Bobcats or Coyotes, and panthers aren’t numerous enough to pose a real threat, but bears, alligators, snakes and insects are a threat.  The biggest threat, however, is lack of potable water.  I outlined how water controls your every thought and decision in a trip to Colorado.

Here is a recent video on water filtration.

Frankly, I wouldn’t trust a seep well.  It won’t filter Giardia or Cryptosporidium.  I have no idea whether water filters will remove plant tannins.  I confess I hadn’t thought about the risk posed by plant tannins.  I’m glad I stumbled on this article – I will think about it in the future.

I have a backpacking water filter, but I know there are a lot on the market now, and a lot of designs I haven’t seen.

What do readers think and what kind of water filtration do you have, and why?  I notice that carrying bleach wasn’t brought up in the video, and I’ll tell you that I don’t like the idea of loading my thyroid up with iodine.  There can be adverse health effects from that.

But pondering all of this shows just how difficult it would be to survive a protracted time in the wilderness without food, potable water, medical care, dental care, proper hygiene, etc.  Walkabouts can be dangerous.

Emergency Survival Blankets

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Discussion at Outdoor Life.

I’ve seen in-field tests.  These things have limited capability, and are no replacement for having a parka or being able to start fire (which underlines my constant attention to redundant means of fire start).

If anyone has an experience with survival blankets, please indicate in the comments.

Starting A Fire With Wet Wood

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Being Able To Reach Out And Touch Someone When In Trouble

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

News from Alaska.

Hunter Jason Long of Eagle River, Alaska, was attacked and injured by a sow grizzly bear near the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve on Sept. 8, reports the National Park Service. Long was hunting alone when he encountered the sow and her two cubs.

Long was in an unnamed drainage near the Chisana River when he was mauled by the grizzly. He suffered lacerations and puncture wounds, but was able to press the SOS button on his Garmin InReach GPS device. The emergency message triggered an Air National Guard rescue mission, coordinated with the NPS.

A 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60 Pave Hawk II from the Eielson Air Force Basewas already airborne on a routine mission near Talkeetna, when it was diverted to the hunter’s location. A two-man 212th Rescue Squadron para-rescue team was dropped at the scene to treat and prepare the patient for transport. Meanwhile, the helicopter met a 211th Rescue Squadron HC-130J Combat King II for air-to-air refuel before returning to the hunter’s location to hoist the para-rescue team, the injured hunter, and another hunter from the party.

The grizzly-mauled hunter was brought to the town of Northway, Alaska, then flown to the Providence Alaska Medical Center, the largest hospital in Anchorage. Long was treated there, and his last known condition was considered stable.

When you go out in my neck of the woods you don’t have to worry about grizzlies.  You do have to be aware of black bear, coyote, and rattlesnakes.

There are ways to minimize the risk.  Take what you might need, e.g., a med kit.  Travel with a companion.  Solo hiking or backpacking or hunting can be dangerous.  Carry a large bore handgun for personal protection.

Carry all of the things we’ve discussed, even on a day trip (rubberized poncho, cordage, water, quick food energy, light, knife, clothing and redundant fire starter).

But there is little you can do about the problem of mechanical injury except call for help.  If you have no satellite phone or GPS and way to reach someone with your coordinates, you’re in trouble with an injury caused by bad mechanical decisions or incidents, bear attacks or snake bites.  If a rattle snake bites, you’re in very deep trouble.

That’s one reason I don’t go into the bush very much in the summer.

Stealth Shelters – Where, When, and Why?

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

Interesting video.  Also applicable to some hunting.

They are using a light weight poncho, and I’d like to get a Polish Lavvu poncho, but here is the only place I can find a legitimate and authentic one, and I don’t even know if they ship to the U.S.

Things I Didn’t Know

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 2 weeks ago

There are many of those.  But this one is quite interesting, and I’ll repeat what I’ve said before: I don’t start my day without coffee, even if I’m on the trail.  A better way of saying it is that coffee starts my day.

In this case, coffee may save your life one day on the trail in less than optimal circumstances.  You can start fire with it.

I wonder if this works with flint and steel or a ferro rod?  I guess there’s one way to find out.

Survival Tags:

26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (704)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (36)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (21)
Ammunition (173)
Animals (118)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (304)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (81)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (27)
Australian Army (7)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (121)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (18)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (3)
Blogs (23)
Body Armor (22)
Books (3)
Border War (14)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (38)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (3)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (15)
Christmas (12)
CIA (29)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (3)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (218)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (192)
Department of Homeland Security (26)
Disaster Preparedness (4)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (12)
Donald Trump (26)
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 (32)
Featured (186)
Federal Firearms Laws (18)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (1,452)
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 (44)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (9)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (1,382)
Guns (1,955)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (8)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (16)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (1)
Horses (1)
Humor (37)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (94)
India (10)
Infantry (4)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (2)
Intelligence (23)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (170)
Iraq (379)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (64)
Islamists (95)
Israel (18)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (3)
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 (4)
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 (4)
Lawfare (7)
Leadership (6)
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 (271)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (62)
Medical (117)
Memorial Day (6)
Mexican Cartels (36)
Mexico (52)
Michael Yon (6)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (4)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (6)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (25)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (24)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (78)
NATO (15)
Navy (24)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (3)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (58)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (221)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (7)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (67)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (2)
Pizzagate (21)
Police (552)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (917)
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 (249)
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 (32)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (442)
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 (28)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (23)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (31)
Survival (59)
SWAT Raids (55)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (2)
Tactical Gear (6)
Taliban (168)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (17)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (95)
Thanksgiving (12)
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 (22)
TSA Ineptitude (13)
TTPs (4)
U.S. Border Patrol (5)
U.S. Border Security (14)
U.S. Sovereignty (17)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (3)
Uncategorized (58)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (3)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (318)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (4)
War Reporting (21)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (73)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (21)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
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 © 2006-2021 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.