Father And Two Sons Die From Hypothermia While Hiking

Old Crazy

Explorer
Oct 13, 2007
481
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Stinking Creek, NJ
Not being prepared for the cold while hiking can kill you.

There only real life-threatening danger you face hiking in the pine barrens is hypothermia. When I hike in the winter I take extra clothing with me and I have waterproof matches, a few lighters, and an emergency bivy sack that holds 90% of my body heat. I know how to construct an emergency shelter for warmth and how to start a fire without matches. I carry a cell phone which I can use to call for help if I need it and a GPS if I get lost.

Sadly, a father took his two sons hiking on the Missouri Trail and was unprepared to deal with the cold when they got lost. Tragically, all three died.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/01/1...d-his-2-sons-die-while-hiking-missouri-trail/
 

Old Crazy

Explorer
Oct 13, 2007
481
93
Stinking Creek, NJ

I have hiked out of Newfoundland Gap many times. It's a beautiful area, but in the winter it can be dangerous if you don't have layers of warm clothes and crampons for your feet to deal with the ice. I foolishly set out once on a round-trip hike from Newfoundland Gap to Charlies Bunion in a snow storm. I thought it would be "fun" to hike in a light snow storm. That light snow storm quickly turned into a blizzard and I barely made it out of there after dark in thigh deep snow.
 
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manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
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I have hiked out of Newfoundland Gap many times. It's a beautiful area, but in the winter it can be dangerous if you don't have layers of warm clothes and crampons for your feet to deal with the ice. I foolishly set out once on a round-trip hike from Newfoundland Gap to Charlies Bunion in a snow storm. I thought it would be "fun" to hike in a light snow storm. That light snow storm quickly turned into a blizzard and I barely made it out of there after dark in thigh deep snow.
I don't know your age but you truly are crazy: I like that:)
 

manumuskin

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Jul 20, 2003
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Only one place better to die in then the Smokies and that be the Barrens.While I doubt dieing is pleasant couldn't think of a better last scene to witness then the Tuple flowing by at the waterfall at the lower medder.
 

kayak karl

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Sep 18, 2008
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Swedesboro, NJ
i did the Smokies in January of '09. there was snow, sleet, rain and dense fog ALL in one day. Very wet, damp and cold in Georgia in the winter. The man that died was a friend of a friend and an avid hiker. he had passed and talked to others on the trail (same as the Father and 2 sons), but said nothing was wrong. i guess in both cases the gravity of the situation didn't sink in yet. i was always told the most important thing in your emergency kit is your wits. got to keep them about you.
 

Old Crazy

Explorer
Oct 13, 2007
481
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Stinking Creek, NJ
I posted this before - What to do when lost in the woods - a Forest Service pamphlet from 1946. "It is better to carry a clear head on your shoulders than a big pack on your back".

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/12228/WhatWhenLostWoods.pdf

From the article: "A gun may help as a signal..."

The forest service giving advice on how to use your gun when you get lost in the woods? You can tell that was written in 1946. Ahhh...for the good old days. BTW, a gun makes a good fire starter. http://www.grandpappy.info/hfire.htm
 

Boyd

Administrator
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Jul 31, 2004
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When I started a thread about this pamplet before, you turned it into a rant about guns and politics. That is why I didn't link to the old thread... and now you are doing the same thing here. Is that really necessary?
 

grendel

Explorer
Feb 24, 2006
561
2
Fredericksburg VA
I have a couple of friends who are AT thru hikers. If they were to get separated from their gear they would be helpless. When we hike together I am amazed at how little they know about nature. I also have learned that reading all the survival manuals in the world is not the same as actually practicing those skills. Anyone who goes out in the woods often should take a day and go into the woods and try building a shelter or building a fire. Try building a fire on a wet, cold , and windy day. Get to know the wild edibles in your area and actual gather some and eat them. It is not as easy as it sounds.
 

Gibby

Piney
Apr 4, 2011
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Trenton
No matter if I have a backpack or a fanny pack, I always have the basic kit on me. I may add to it, depending on how long I will be out, but the essentials are always packed. My short kit is: a knife, multitool, medikit, fire steel, polarshield, energy bars and a small light. I have found that these kit is enough for most of what I do. Water and food is a separate issue that depends on the activity for the day(s). These items, I feel, give me a fair chance to deal with what may happen.
 

manumuskin

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Jul 20, 2003
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I came close to becoming a victim of hypothermia once.I had my ex wife drop me off at Bennetts Mill back in the 80's,I was in my early 20's and she needed the car and I was exploring the area.It was November and close to 70 degrees.I just had regular camo fatigues on and a BDU top.A couple hours after she pulled out (no cell phones back then) The temps started to drop rapidly and the clouds moved in.next thing you know it was in the 40's and pouring rain.She was not due back for hours.My choices were to stick it out of hike a mile out to 552 and hitchhike back to Millville.That would have meant I was a sissy and I couldn't have that.
I tried a trick I had learned reading survival books.I tucked by britches legs into my boot tops and proceeded to stuff them with wet leaves,lichen and moss till I was balooned up and couldn't hold any more then i tucked my top in and did the same with my top.I thne proceeded to walk back and forth rapidly to try and build up some heat and this did work.No I wasn't warm but I was able to function.I had quickly got to the point I couldn't hardly move my fingers and I was shaking violently.I don't know if the stuffing which was wet saved me or getting mad and walking up and down the road but I made it for hours this way till rescue came.We then got in a big fight because she knew what the weather did and she left me out there all day with it pouring rain.
 

Old Crazy

Explorer
Oct 13, 2007
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Stinking Creek, NJ
When I started a thread about this pamplet before, you turned it into a rant about guns and politics. That is why I didn't link to the old thread... and now you are doing the same thing here. Is that really necessary?
Boyd, the comment I made, and to which you are referring, was light-hearted. There is no mention of politics and I'm not ranting about anything. Just waxing nostalgic for a time when Americans had more freedom and liberty. And, yes, I do find the loss of freedom and liberty troubling, and something that is necessary to point out. If you can name for me any individual, group, politician or political party I attacked or insulted in that post, I'll delete it.
 

Old Crazy

Explorer
Oct 13, 2007
481
93
Stinking Creek, NJ
I tucked by britches legs into my boot tops and proceeded to stuff them with wet leaves,lichen and moss till I was balooned up and couldn't hold any more then i tucked my top in and did the same with my top.
Insulating your clothes with leaves, pine needles and lichen is a good way to preserve your body heat...but only if they're dry. If you're facing a potential hypothermia situation, you want to avoid getting wet at all costs. When your clothes get wet they lose 90% of their insulating ability.
 

manumuskin

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Jul 20, 2003
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I was already soaked and so was everything else.TBJ claims that even wet airy material will insulate so I gave it a try.I did not get warm but I became functional again.Wether it was due to the insulation or the activity of walking rapidly for hours I do not know.It didn't hurt anyway as i said i was soaked.
 

Old Crazy

Explorer
Oct 13, 2007
481
93
Stinking Creek, NJ
I was already soaked and so was everything else.TBJ claims that even wet airy material will insulate so I gave it a try.I did not get warm but I became functional again.Wether it was due to the insulation or the activity of walking rapidly for hours I do not know.It didn't hurt anyway as i said i was soaked.
Well, if you were already soaking wet, then you're not going to make it worse by stuffing wet leaves inside your clothing. I guess it's just a question of whether the small increase in insulation you get from the wet leaves is worth the loss in range of motion and the extra energy you'll expend while walking. At any rate, I'm glad you made it out of there safely. Sorry about the ex-wife. Hey, it could have been worse. She could have abandoned you to the elements in Glacier National Park. :(
 
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