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Showing posts with label Boy Scout survives. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boy Scout survives. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wilderness Survival - Boy Scout's Example

With the good news being reported about the 12 year old Boy Scout from Utah being found alive after surviving in a cold wilderness environment by using his fieldcraft skills and building tree-branch shelter, I was asked my two people, what would I have done if I was lost.

First, the Boy Scout's story: The 12-year-old Boy Scout, however scared, kept his wits about himself and still knew what to do when he got lost during a Utah wilderness outing: He built a shelter made of tree branches and wood to get through a cold night and he covered himself in dirt to stay warm.

Scout Jared Ropelato's lean-to — a crude structure the Boy Scout manual advises Scouts to build if they become lost — kept him warm enough so he could sleep after the overnight low in Utah's Ashley National Forest dipped to 31 degrees in the area. The boy was wearing only jeans and a shirt, and had no food or water, when he went missing around noon Friday. He had gotten lost while on his way by himself back to camp from a nearby lake, walking a total of eight or nine miles before searchers on ATVs found him Saturday morning some four miles from where he started.

First of all, preparation is the key to survival. This comes in two forms: Knowledge and Skills about the environment and fieldcraft/survival skills; the second being Equipped. A knife, folding or fixed blade,...a lighter or waterproof matches,...and a canteen are essential to any outdoor outing or hike. If you are even better equipped then your chances (and comfort) are much better.
Having a simple Butt Pack or Day Pack with those above items, plus a flashlight, ground cloth or survival blanket, a section of parachute cord, maybe 50 feet, and, some food such as granola or survival bars would be the minimum in my book.

Knowing how to build a fire, build a shelter, procure and filter water would be key. If I was lost and looking to help people find me, a fire, then a shelter, then a ground to air signal in a nearby cleared area would be my first priorities as long as I had water. Sure you can go maybe up to 48 hours without water, but throughout that second day your mental and physical skills will start to wane. In a colder environment, such as this Boy Scout was in, you could stretch that to maybe 72 hours, and this is depending upon how hard you are working; how much sweat you have lost; if you avoid exposure to the Sun; and, if you have food to eat.

Hats off to the Boy,...other than breaking the two man rule, which is his Scoutmaster's fault, he did good.