Another Cautionary Tale

1:33 p.m. on May 2, 2014 (EDT)
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http://www.mychamplainvalley.com/story/d/story/hiker-with-accidental-knife-wound-rescued-on-franc/30489/qe67eQDI3U-CHQSbkLYJhA

Pretty sure that is not how survival skills are supposed to work. LNT would suggest leaving the limbs on the trees in the first place, but if they have to try that stuff they picked up from TV they should try to keep the pointy things away from the meaty bits.

2:11 p.m. on May 2, 2014 (EDT)
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I can't quite tell if the photo they used atop the article is of two hikers with walking sticks or two hikers with long blades stuck through their legs.


Story.jpg

Note: This is directly sourced from the aforementioned article. Not my photo.

4:45 p.m. on May 2, 2014 (EDT)
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Oh my! I didn't even notice that Kiwi but I busted out laughing when you pointed it out.

5:00 p.m. on May 2, 2014 (EDT)
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Samurai swords AND jetpacks

5:13 p.m. on May 2, 2014 (EDT)
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I wish the article had more details about the accident...the way the article describes the event suggest only negligence on the part of the young man...and the circumstances in which the incident occurred is absent beyond "White Mountains"? I'm not saying the young man is blameless (doubtful)...but in practice I find that things are usually a lot more complicated.

On the plus...I think the article is a remarkable story of SAR folks. I have (thankfully) never needed emergency assistance from anyone...but it is nice to know that if I were to become immobilized with a serious injury from a fall + storm + etc. that there are people willing to help.

5:20 p.m. on May 2, 2014 (EDT)
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20 years ago, there would have been no text messages or mobile service. How times have changed! Glad he is okay.

8:04 p.m. on May 2, 2014 (EDT)
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jrenow said:

I wish the article had more details about the accident...the way the article describes the event suggest only negligence on the part of the young man...and the circumstances in which the incident occurred is absent beyond "White Mountains"? I'm not saying the young man is blameless (doubtful)...but in practice I find that things are usually a lot more complicated.

 Are you suggesting the tree should be held accountable? Even if the guy didn't stab himself and the tree did make him do it I think a pretty good "stand your ground" self defense case could be made here.

In all seriousness, my point in posting this story was to remind people that knives should be used with extreme caution.  Getting hurt in the back country is no laughing matter so it is a good place to be extra careful.

12:35 p.m. on May 3, 2014 (EDT)
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If the events had taken place in Florida the tree would have only needed to feel "threatened" to stab the young man...and since we can never know the mindset of a person (tree)...the tree (person) basically has the legal right to kill anyone in Florida!

Also...I don't think the tree is to blame...but tool failure and other situational variables could be important factors in explaining how the injury occurred (not just ignorance and carelessness). I think culturally (which this article is a product of) we (as in post-industrial citizens) tend to over emphasize human error and under emphasize technical and other variables in our explanations of events (probably the result of litigation...and the fact that for the most part our machines behave). With that said...the young man could have very well been using the tool inappropriately...as well as been ignorant to other (predictable) factors which may have contributed to the outcome. Doubtless the young man is blameless...but the author writes us into a corner where as readers we have almost no choice but to assume that it was all human error.

3:05 p.m. on May 3, 2014 (EDT)
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Some kinds of knives can very easily be used to cut pine branches down - a solid fixed-blade knife with a handle that helps limit slippage would be a good choice.  I suppose, though, that he might have been better off carrying at least a light tarp and a foam pad, rather than having to cut off tree limbs with a knife.  

Franconia ridge, where he was rescued, is the second-highest mountain range in the White Mountains.  The Presidentials are the highest, with the Southern Presidentials being somewhat lower than the Northern Presidentials, which include Mt. Washington, Mt. Adams, Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. Madison.  Still, winter conditions make for a challenging hike no matter where you are in Northern New Hampshire.  

3:55 p.m. on May 3, 2014 (EDT)
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Here is the Union Leaders article http://www.unionleader.com/article/20140501/NEWS07/140509864

It is pretty similar.

I am a member of the Pemi Valley search and rescue team (one of the groups that helped with this rescue, though I was not able to go on this one). Our groups facebook page lists details about the rescues we assist with. Here is a link: https://www.facebook.com/pemisar

There are also a few more pictures from the hike out.

6:25 p.m. on May 3, 2014 (EDT)
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That facebook post certainly gave a great description of both where they were and what the rescue entailed.  I don't think it took up any more space than the newspapers used either.  Thanks for posting that Jim.

10:12 a.m. on May 4, 2014 (EDT)
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Why would anyone be cutting boughs to sleep on except in an emergency? Why did this happen so late at night? It sounds like alcohol or drugs might have been involved.

My neighbor recently had a few beers and went out to feed his horses. While using a very sharp knife, he slipped off the bailing twine and managed to put a deep hole in his thigh, as in about an inch and half deep. I drove him to a medical clinic at about 80 mph since blood was everywhere. He was fine but very embarrassed by the incident.

When I was in the Boy Scouts, two kids on different trips put axes in their feet by accident. The axes went right through their boots and made some nasty wounds. They were okay, but those images have stayed with me.

The consequences of a mistake with a blade or axe in the bush is much greater than at home. Don't use any dangerous tools after drinking, and be very cautious all the time.

 

 

2:26 p.m. on May 4, 2014 (EDT)
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Thanks for the FB link, Jim51111. That was much more insightful than the news articles. 

I'm not so willing to assume there was alcohol or drugs involved. Did they hide the evidence before the medical help arrived? Could have, sure. But if the wound was that bad, hiding some beer cans would be the last of my concerns. I tend to think that either the news articles or the insightful FB post would have made mention of it had drugs/alcohol been involved. 

Either way, I'm glad the guy made it out, but I'm still left wondering why he was cutting pine boughs for bedding if he was fully prepared for the elements. 

3:47 p.m. on May 4, 2014 (EDT)
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sounds like the guy was a newbie. an experienced person would never hack up a tree for bedtime.

8:25 a.m. on May 5, 2014 (EDT)
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ppine said:

Why would anyone be cutting boughs to sleep on except in an emergency? Why did this happen so late at night? It sounds like alcohol or drugs might have been involved.

As a guy with frequent flyer miles at his local ER, I can attest that accidents can happen without impairment. I recommend we steer away from this conclusion until we are told otherwise.

Perhaps they were really practicing their zombie melee skills and were too embarrassed to report it. ;)

10:49 a.m. on May 5, 2014 (EDT)
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jrenow said:

If the events had taken place in Florida the tree would have only needed to feel "threatened" to stab the young man...and since we can never know the mindset of a person (tree)...the tree (person) basically has the legal right to kill anyone in Florida!

Also...I don't think the tree is to blame...but tool failure and other situational variables could be important factors in explaining how the injury occurred (not just ignorance and carelessness). I think culturally (which this article is a product of) we (as in post-industrial citizens) tend to over emphasize human error and under emphasize technical and other variables in our explanations of events (probably the result of litigation...and the fact that for the most part our machines behave). With that said...the young man could have very well been using the tool inappropriately...as well as been ignorant to other (predictable) factors which may have contributed to the outcome. Doubtless the young man is blameless...but the author writes us into a corner where as readers we have almost no choice but to assume that it was all human error.

 Well, let's get that population reduced PDQ!!!!

11:18 a.m. on May 5, 2014 (EDT)
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G00SE said:

ppine said:

Why would anyone be cutting boughs to sleep on except in an emergency? Why did this happen so late at night? It sounds like alcohol or drugs might have been involved.

As a guy with frequent flyer miles at his local ER, I can attest that accidents can happen without impairment. I recommend we steer away from this conclusion until we are told otherwise.

Perhaps they were really practicing their zombie melee skills and were too embarrassed to report it. ;)

 Since they didn't bleed out on the mountain or freeze to death waiting to be saved I'm inclined not to blame chemical impairment.  What I want to know is if there was a Bear Grylls logo on the knife ;)

1:37 p.m. on May 5, 2014 (EDT)
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I'm ashamed to admit owning a Gerber Bear Grylls multitool. It was $12 and weighs 2oz. It was an impulse buy. You'll note I've never reviewed it, for fear of being blacklisted on TS.

For the record, I have only watched one episode of Man v. Wild in my entire life.

3:25 p.m. on May 5, 2014 (EDT)
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Most people would not be up at 0Dark Thirty cutting pine boughs in the dark unless they were really cold and inexperienced, or loaded or maybe both.

10:02 a.m. on May 6, 2014 (EDT)
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I have Bear Grylls hiking pants. Yeah. I like them. He is a pretty interesting dude. Watched his show after the Discovery Everest Avalanche tragedy the other night. Had not realized that when he was 23 he climbed Everest....one of the youngest to do so at the time. I like that two of his kids are Marmaduke and Huckleberry. He is a rich kid who has done well. Done some fun stuff too! Like that flight over the Himalayas. So he parlayed that into a line of stuff. Good on him.....love a capitalist, myself. I don't see any difference in him having stuff than people like Whittaker or Viesters wearing certain brands to give the brand cred. Grylls started the first mountaineering club at his old school. And he puts his money where his mouth is and goes out there. I like him.

10:58 a.m. on May 6, 2014 (EDT)
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giftogab said:

I have Bear Grylls hiking pants. Yeah. I like them. He is a pretty interesting dude. Watched his show after the Discovery Everest Avalanche tragedy the other night. Had not realized that when he was 23 he climbed Everest....one of the youngest to do so at the time. I like that two of his kids are Marmaduke and Huckleberry. He is a rich kid who has done well. Done some fun stuff too! Like that flight over the Himalayas. So he parlayed that into a line of stuff. Good on him.....love a capitalist, myself. I don't see any difference in him having stuff than people like Whittaker or Viesters wearing certain brands to give the brand cred. Grylls started the first mountaineering club at his old school. And he puts his money where his mouth is and goes out there. I like him.

 None of this comes as a surprise to me, but thank you for sharing.

4:05 p.m. on May 6, 2014 (EDT)
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From the conversation I had with one of my friends who went on the rescue, it sounds like the group had a lot of "theoretical" experience versus actual experience in the backcountry.

6:11 p.m. on May 7, 2014 (EDT)
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Maybe they weren't cutting boughs for bedding but to make snowshoes, since they were surprised by deep snow.  Articles get details wrong all the time.

October 2, 2014
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