I don’t know if I’ve ever written about this before. I know that I only speak about it when asked directly. When I was 12 years old, I was on a hiking trip with the Boy Scouts. Less than 400 yards from the parking lot, I became separated from the group.
For lack of a better term, I “zigged” when I should have “zagged,” and ended up 12 miles off track in the middle of the woods.
I was lost for nearly 14 hours.
When I was found, I had set up camp, created shelter, and built a fire. I had wilderness survival training, and although I was scared, I was doing what I knew I had to do to survive.
But I was found. I was lucky.
So, when I saw this story of a 17-year-old Canadian teen who got lost while snowmobiling, it rang a bell. He managed to survive by constructing a snow cave and staying in it until he was discovered.
Here’s what those that rescued him had to say:
We would like to commend the 17 year old missing snowmobiler from the search last night. This young man did everything right after things went wrong. He got separated from his group and after multiple failed attempts to get back out of the area, the way he got into it and not knowing the terrain and area, he parked his sled in a wide open area, walked over to a nearby treed area and built himself an incredible snow cave to spend the night (see picture). When our team members came across him he was in the shelter with food and water. This young man made our task a little less difficult by staying in place and having some backcountry winter survival knowledge. We would also like to commend the other backcountry users who, after realizing their limits and exhausting their area knowledge called us for assistance. By doing this, it kept this task as a search for one person and not multiple. The actions of everyone involved was spot on for leading to a successful outcome.
We would like to remind all backcountry enthusiasts to be prepared for similar and unexpected situations as staying the night can happen just that quickly. Be prepared, get the knowledge and have a great time in backcountry.
An unbelievable story.