Be prepared

From comments on Scobleizer about the tragic death of James Kim.

To all who wander out in the winter.

It is well advised to place a survival pack in the trunk of your car. Even a candle can keep you from freezing to death if used with the proper training. Even the best of the best can be caught on the side of the road in winter. Being prepared can prevent such needless loss. My heart goes out to the family. However, my logical mind tells me to scream out to those who travel in snow country to get the training that can save lives.

At a min. read this.
May God be with the family left behind.

The document is “Montana’s Take-along Winter Survival Handbook,” a 26 pg pdf filled with highly useful information.

As mentioned before, a whistle can save the day. Heard an amazing story about this. Two backpackers were way in the back country. One gets a broken leg. They use their whistle. One ridge away a mule train hears it, immediately diverts and comes. On another ridge, a park ranger on horseback also heard it. Within an hour, in isolated country, they had full aid and help. That would not have happened without their whistle.

I’ve done a fair amount of backpacking. The land can be beautiful and inspiring but also utterly unforgiving if you make a mistake.

Update: Kim made a “superhuman effort” trying to find help. After walking on the road for a few miles, he went down a ravine, apparently thinking to follow the creek to civilization.

That used to be a recommended survival tactic, but it has fallen out of favor because people who try it usually become more susceptible to hypothermia.

Heart-wrenchingly, he died in an impassable ravine with cliffs on both sides. Had he stayed on the road, he would have found a lodge that rescuers had been checking frequently. They said the route he took was extremely arduous and taxed even them trying to get to it and that his effort was “superhuman.”