[pct-l] Stumbled across PCT-L archives going back to 1996 / Here's message #11 http://www.backcountry.net/arch/pct/

Paint YW paintyourwagonhikes at gmail.com
Mon Jan 15 18:54:07 CST 2018

The format/structure in reading the hiking tale is a bit disconcerting, but
the context and tempo is quite interesting and much appreciated. Kudos to
the author for being willing to express in depth, details- of what turned
out to be a harrowing experience, that contains lessons for survival that
all of us can benefit from, no matter the time or place.

Don't forget to take a few essentials with you when you are out for
stroll... to get you through the night.

Been there, done that. Rookie year. Oct., 2012, 2000-2200 hours. JMT,
10,000' - 11,000', on the way down from Whitney, lost the trail, no tent
and no sleeping bag. 4 pairs of glowing eyes staring at me (big horn sheep)
Later- Brrr. Built a shelter. Glad to see daylight.



On Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 3:08 PM, Catherine Middaugh <
catherine.middaugh at gmail.com> wrote:

> Wow does this bring back memories. I've gotten lost in Big Basin State
> Park more times than I can count. And 1996 was a high rain year. Thanks for
> the post.
> On Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 7:24 AM, Paint YW <paintyourwagonhikes at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> ------------------------------
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>> <http://www.backcountry.net/arch/pct/9612/threads.html#00011>][pct-l] my
>> adventure
>> ------------------------------
>>    - *Subject*: [pct-l] my adventure
>>    - *From*: POLITECAT at aol.com
>>    - *Date*: Sun, 15 Dec 1996 04:36:52 -0500
>> ------------------------------
>> i have a story to share with you all.
>> i learned a important lesson from this and i hope you will to.
>> last weekend i got up early and headed to big basin california planning
>> to do
>> my training hike i thought i would hike the 10.6 mile trail because it
>> was a
>> tough one and good practice. so i loaded up my pack with the usuala
>> things.
>> my nylon pants in case of colder weather. my fleece jacket and my rain
>> jacket. my lunch and snacks. (dried veggies gorp and power bar.) in  the
>> bottom of my pack lives my survial bag i use it  mainly for weight. and
>> about
>> 3 gallons of water. oh ya my walkman some tapes a hiking book and my
>> camera
>> so i payed for my day parking and hoisted my pack on my back and off i
>> went.
>> they ask you have a tleast 6 hours to hike the trail and i had a little
>> more
>> in case but felt i would only take about 5 hours tops. the sky was an
>> overcast greyish hue. a teasing mist would fall semi often but i was
>> hiking
>> pretty fast and it felt good.
>> well the trail signs were visable and for the first 3 hours i was doing
>> great
>> i was booking. and then it happened. somewhere i lost the trail and ended
>> up
>> way far from the park headquarters. you see they had had a fire and trail
>> signs and what not had ben destroyed so i got out my map and compass
>> (from my
>> survival kit) and choose a direction to lead back. it was later than i was
>> happy about but i was confandant i would make it. so i hiked and climbed
>> and
>> skidded (did i mention it had been raining off and on for a week) so
>> things
>> were soaked and puddles and creeks were everywhere. at some point i met up
>> with a biker. as he passed i asked him if he knew what trail we were on
>> and
>> how far from the main headquarters. he said wow it is way that way this is
>> the >>>>>> trail and he gave me some directions to follow so i smiled
>> thanked
>> him and tromped on. almost running . there was only about 1.5 hours of
>> good
>> light left and i was still sure i would be ok and make it back soon. i had
>> rivers to cross soaking my feet in freezing water and squishing my way
>> onwards. so i reached a big main trail/road and followed the signs there
>> and
>>  ganced up at the deepening grey sky. soon i reached a cut off my road
>> ended
>> and broke off without any real trail signs and so i followed the most
>> promentant trail which ended at a crossroads. there was a sign it had been
>> placed against  a tree either knocked down before or burned. i searched
>> for
>> the orginal post marks in the ground so i could confirm the pointers but
>> to
>> no avail so i took the shortest trail or so i thought the arrow pointed
>> straight ahead to a path of sorts it was overgrown and had a lot of debri
>> on
>> it but because i was racing agaist the clock i just went for it. the trail
>> was sparatic disapearing and reappearing and yet it seemed well used. i
>> was
>> slightly iffy about it but grey was changing to black if i could find the
>> trail a clear trail i could follow it even in the dark. but the farther
>> in i
>> got the smaller and less travable the traail became until it just
>> disappeared.  by this time i had maybe about half and hour of light so i
>> pulled out the map and saw that there should be a trail above me
>> somewhere.
>> it was longer than i wanted but at this point any trail was needed. so i
>> began climbing around fallen trees through leaves and debri slipping and
>> sliding on the wet leaves. i tried climbing up and when i reached a point
>> that looked clear i found my way blocked by weeds and bushes rocks and
>> more
>> steep climbs. so i rethought my plan. i heaard a creek and knew the creek
>> was
>> heading towards the other main path and to the park rangers. so i changed
>> directions following my compass reading towards the east. i slipped down a
>> hill scraping my legs pretty bad and then had to climb another steep mud
>> incased mountain my only hold was a razor sharp weed that as i slipped
>> sliced
>> my legs and hands although it did save me from falling. so i crossed a
>> small
>> creek and tried to follow it as well as keep my heading east. by this
>> point
>> it was a light black. and becuase i was under heavy trees even darker the
>> shawdows had turned to intertwining cover. coating the ground with black
>> . i
>> was fighting my brains need to reach safty and my knowledge i waas staying
>> somewhere near tonight. as i started off one more time i somehow ended up
>> in
>> a bog of mud so thick i must have looked like one of those old time
>> comedians
>> swaying left and right with out falling. my shoes would not come out and i
>> struggled a few precious minutes and then one by one they popped out. so
>>  when i reached safe ground i looked for a place to stop and set up a mini
>> camp.  found a grove with good shelter some good  lookiing shelter and
>> not to
>> far from where i  ended. so in the mornig i could begin where i ended.
>> instead of wandering amlessly in a circle. so i sat down opened my pack
>> (by
>> now i was cold tired hungry and shaking my head at my new adventure. so i
>> pulled out my nylon pants my fleece jacket and my rain jacket. i put them
>> on
>> and then opened my survial bag. no flashlight. but a candle two clear
>> plastic
>> bags a space bag and a lighter. i also found some pitch wood my knife and
>> my
>> metal match. i had also for some strange reason put a water proof pack
>> cover
>> in my pack. hey great i thought ground sheet. so i started my adventure by
>> tring to start a fire .i tried forever i found some semi dry wood rotted
>> to
>> bits some dead branches but everything was so wet and it was so dark i
>> swear
>> in a blink of an eye the sky became black as the bowels of hell. leaving
>> my
>> and my lighter alone. so i finally gave up on the fire. i burned some
>> pages
>> of my book warming my hands then i made my bed. i opened my bag took off
>> my
>> soaking shoes slipped in to the bag then put the plastic bag over it. i
>> then
>> buried my curled up legs and feet and some of my back in leaves and mud as
>> much as i could find near my. i pulled the bag up and then although i was
>> feeling sick to my stomach and shaking like a belly dancer over drive. i
>> made
>> myself eat my gorp nuts and choclates coconuts and raisins. i gagged a
>> couple
>> handfuls down and drank as much water   asi could then pulled the bag
>> over my
>> heaad. right before i covered my face i looked up at the sky laughed a
>> little
>> that i was sleeping out here and thinking all i need now is for it to
>> rain.
>> now i do not know about you all but if you have ever thried to sllep in a
>> space bag and plastic bag it makes one feel kind of like a carton of jiffy
>> pop every movemnet is crinkle crinkle and crunch crunch. but i did slumber
>> for a while waking to the sound of ping ping plop plop. yes you guessed
>> it it
>> had started to rain so i thought quick and pulled out my other plastic bag
>> opened it up poked a hole in the bottom corner near the seams and pulled
>> it
>> over my head placing my mouth through the hole. then i buried my body more
>> snuggled down making sure the top bag was over the other bags so water
>> would
>> run off and not in the bags. sleeping was a impossiblaty. i was so cold
>> and i
>> wanted to stay aware of my body and i found that by every so often moving
>> around (not alot just lighting the candle burning my book or scooping more
>> leaves ) made me warmed and made me feel in control of me. it was so cold
>> and
>> so dark but i knew i would survive and make it out tomorrow. and soon the
>> sky
>> began to lighten and the rain slacked and i knew morning was almost upon
>> me.
>> i must have slept a hour or so for when i  awoke the sky was a oveercast
>> grey
>> of morning. so i packed up all my stuff the papers the bags (by the by
>> those
>> space bags are flimsy my tore half way through the night ) i was left with
>> pices wrapping them around what ever was the coldest. so i ate some
>> veggies
>> and some gorp(yummy breakfast) i knew i had about 6 miles to the station
>> and
>> all day to find it so i wanted to try to find the trail i lost last night
>> first i figured if i could not find it then head east. so i walked back
>> sort
>> of the way i came and somehow ended up finding the trail and followed it
>> back
>> to the main sign i took a different trail and low and behold three hours
>> later just 24 after i started i was back to my car.  i reported in to the
>> rangers and they yelled at me i did not tell anyone where i was going. i
>> was
>> hiking alone and they had no way to get a hold of my bosses. (it was there
>> car in the lot) so i earned a bunch of lessons. next time tell rangers i
>> am
>> alone and where i am going. i went out today and bought silver nylon and
>> am
>> making my own bag same size better wear. and i am going to practice the
>> fire
>> thing.  so i hope you enjoyed my story and maybe learned never ever go any
>> where with out your survial gear you never know what might happen.
>> ps i do need to say that if i had not taken the survial class i would be
>> dead. i would have had on cotton i would not have had any of the clothes i
>> had with me or the survial gear. i am also proud of me becaus ei did not
>> panic freak or cry i did not worry or afraid. i was calm and found humor
>> in
>> it. so i hope to talk with you all soon have a great weekend and smile.
>> the
>> world is a beautiful place.
>> wendy aka polite cat at aol.com.
>> or as i call myself now wendy the forest  queen goddess of the woods.
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