Mark Jenkins article on wilderness survival

Share your tips for safe hiking, surviving in the wild and managing hiking injuries!
User avatar
Posts: 1495
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Southeast Portland

Re: Mark Jenkins article on wilderness survival

Post by Charley » June 10th, 2016, 10:14 pm

Chip Down wrote:Lots of weird advice there.
I did like this:
Get an alpine start. All things being equal, you should be hiking at daybreak. Everything is easier and safer with more time and more sunlight.
Yeah. I think that's huge. If you plan to be back at your car by 3:00 you've got a cushion if something goes wrong. The scariest close-call I've had was when I started out well past noon (which, of course, was just the first in a series of mistakes).
Admittedly, an early start can backfire if your early start just convinces you to take stupid risks, or tack on an extra side trip.
I went on a climb once, in which we left the car in the early evening, and camped halfway up the mountain at about sunset. We rose and were hiking by 8 the next morning and didn't get back to the car until 11pm, some five hours after sunset! Bushwacking down steep slider alder slopes in the dark. I didn't prefer that. My "early" is earlier nowadays.

User avatar
Posts: 1666
Joined: October 1st, 2009, 11:54 am

Re: Mark Jenkins article on wilderness survival

Post by BigBear » July 14th, 2016, 12:11 pm

The issue cited earlier in this blog regarding the Asian man who followed the creek after being snowbound with his family on a road near Black Bar Lodge a few years back misses a bigger point than whether or not to follow a creek downstream. Never leave a road.

If you are lost in the woods, you are hoping to find a trail by setting out in a specific direction, and you follow the trail in hopes of finding a road (or a trailhead at the road). You never leave a road to go cross-country. Your speed will drop from 2-3 mph to 1/4 mph (or worse), and if there had been a legitimate shortcut, there probably would have been a trail in that location to begin with.

If you are lost in the woods, and have no idea where the trail may be, then the stay-in-one-place option is the preferred option.

In addition to STOP, I have told hikers that the first thing you should do is look at your watch. How much time do you have before it gets dark? Do you have time to get back to the TH (even if you aren't lost) or is it time to gather wood for a fire and build a shelter to keep warm?

User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 13341
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Mark Jenkins article on wilderness survival

Post by retired jerry » July 14th, 2016, 12:36 pm

On multi day hike, I always try to make my last day maybe half the distance, for the same reason

And a contingency plan to shorten a loop in case I'm less able to finish it

What I don't like to do is a loop where I really push it the first half and get far away from my car, and half to really push it to finish

Post Reply