Survival News

This page was started in June 2014 for the purpose of collecting news links on wilderness survival.  The intention is that this repository of information provides opportunities from which to learn and/or demonstrate the importance of proper survival training, planning and preparation.

We have gone back in time and grabbed a few that have stood out for us.  If you have any suggested news reports, PLEASE email the link to with SURVIVAL NEWS in the subject line.

Finally, while everything on Master Woodsman is technically copyrighted, please feel free to copy this entire page and put it to use for the purposes stated.  If nothing else, perhaps someone reading some or all of these stories will think twice and bring their kit, or jacket, and for God’s sake, let someone know where they are going.

According to the CDC, from 1999 to 2011, a total of 16,911 deaths in the United States, an average of 1,301 per year, were associated with exposure to excessive natural cold. The highest yearly total of hypothermia-related deaths (1,536) was in 2010 and the lowest (1,058) in 2006. Approximately 67% of hypothermia-related deaths were among males.

3 lost hikers rescued from Sandias in separate incidents – August 2015, New Mexico
Albuquerque police open space officers have rescued three hikers from the Sandia Mountains in the past few days. Monday, two 27-year-old men attempted to climb the La Luz Trail from the base of the Sandia Tram. The two men started at about 4 p.m. wearing shorts, tank tops and running shoes, but they did not bring food or water, according to APD.

French couple dies in New Mexico desert; son survives – August 2015, New Mexico
(CNN)The sun and heat are harsh in the summer, and shade is nowhere to be found. But from all over, people come to admire the otherworldly beauty of the wave-like white dunes and to hike a trail marked only by posts staked deep in the gypsum sand. Hikers at the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico are warned about the desert conditions and advised to take many precautions. In the summer, those include drinking lots of water — a gallon a day is recommended — and resting frequently. Temperatures often top 100 degrees.

Lost, injured hikers and campers in Adirondacks: Forest Ranger rescues – August 2015, New York
State Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers recently responded to a more than a half dozen instances of lost or medically distressed hikers and campers in the Adirondacks. Search and rescue missions during the period of July 27 to Aug. 3 in link.

Hiker Killed by Grizzly Bear in Yellowstone National Park – August 2015, Wyoming
An experienced hiker was found dead in Yellowstone National Park after he was likely attacked by a grizzly bear, the park said. The man worked with a company that runs urgent care clinics in the park, Yellowstone said in a statement today. A park ranger found his body about noon Friday near Yellowstone’s Elephant Back Loop Trail, in the park’s Lake Village area, the National Park Service said.

Canoeists died of hypothermia, drowning – August 2015, Maine
According to the State Medical Examiner’s office, the Pennsylvania couple found in Chandler Bay over the weekend died of hypothermia and drowning.
Roy and Judith Carlile went for a late day canoe trip on Friday and never came back. The bodies were found over the weekend about a mile apart and searchers also found the overturned canoe. The Coast Guard said Roy’s body was found in fishing gear near Sandy River Beach on Saturday morning and Judith’s body was found near Roque Island about 24 hours later.

Hikers on First Date Rescued by Helicopter After Getting Lost in Angeles National Forest – July 2015, California
A first date went from adventurous to dangerous when the young pair got lost in the Angeles National Forest in Southern California. The hikers had a map and a phone with them Friday but got lost in the trails, said the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. But they were able to find cell phone service and called the Altadena Sheriff’s station, which sent a rescue crew to airlift them.

Rescued Hiker In Nevada County Warns Of Dangers Of Overconfidence – July 2015, California
It was a daring rescue after hours of agony. California Highway Patrol video shows Anthony Rissone, 26, being hoisted to safety near the Emerald Pools area, not far from Emigrant Gap.
“I thought, you know, maybe I’m just going to die out here,” he said.
At times, he said he was panicked as he was stuck on a rock face, alone, cold and injured.

Man missing for four days found alive after hiking Hawaii trail – July 2015, Hawaii
A man hiking a trail in Hawaii was found alive Saturday afternoon after he was reported missing four days ago, officials said.
Justin Clark, 32, began his trek at the Schofield-Waikane trailhead Wednesday at 5 a.m., officials said. Clark’s mother, Shirley Seeger, told KHON 2 she texted him later that day when he missed his doctor appointment. He told Seeger he took a wrong turn and fell.
The station reports he sent a second and final text at 4:08 p.m. saying he had gotten out of the area and was making his way along a ridge.

Missing hikers from Ont. found alive after 7 days in B.C. backcountry – June 2015, Canada
KEREMEOS, B.C. – Search-and-rescue crews were shocked when an Ontario couple missing for seven days walked out of the backcountry in southern British Columbia.
Lynne Carmody, 61, and Rick Moynan, 59, of North Bay, Ont., turned up virtually unharmed on Sunday around 4 p.m., just hours before crews were going to call off the search for them.
“We had actually just finished meeting with the family and flying the family into the mountains to really have a last goodbye,” said Paul Berry of Comox Search and Rescue.

Former White House Executive Chef Walter Scheib found dead – June 2015, New Mexico
Walter Scheib, the former White House executive chef who had been missing for over a week, was found dead Sunday in New Mexico. He was 61.
The Taos News reported that Scheib’s body was found in a river approximately 20 to 30 feet off a hiking trail in the mountains above the Taos Ski Valley. The New Mexico State Police said the spot where the body was found was approximately 1.7 miles from the Yerba Canyon trail head where Scheib’s car was located.

Hiker rescued after 3 days without food, water – June 2015, Arizona
PHOENIX — Arizona Department of Public Safety officers saved a dehydrated hiker from the brink of death this week when a DPS chopper located the man near Payson and flew him from his campground to safety, authorities said.

Vancouver hiker died of chest injuries, hypothermia – April 2015, Washington
A 56-year-old Vancouver man, who fell while hiking last weekend near Mount St. Helens, died Sunday after he was airlifted by a U.S. Navy helicopter to a Vancouver hospital.

3 college students rescued from mountain; 1 had hypothermia – March 2015, New Hampshire
Three University of Massachusetts-Amherst students hiking a New Hampshire mountain have been rescued after one started suffering from hypothermia with temperatures in the teens and strong winds.

Snowdonia walkers airlifted to hospital with hypothermia after getting stuck on mountain – March 2015, Great Britian
Two men were airlifted to hospital this morning suffering from hypothermia after becoming lost on a mountain in Snowdonia overnight. The men, one aged 54 and the other 65, had been camping in the Ogwen Valley when they got into difficulty on Y Garn last night. Chris Lloyd, from the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation (OVMRO), said the men made a “brave effort” to rescue themselves.

2 hypothermic men rescued after Northwest Alaska snowmachine crash – March 2015, Alaska
Two men were found suffering from hypothermia Sunday after they wrecked their snowmachine on a Northwest Alaska trail and one set out walking to find help, according to the Northwest Arctic Borough.

Autopsy confirms Yellowstone skier died of hypothermia – January 2015, Montana
BILLINGS (AP) – An autopsy confirmed a Belgrade man who was found dead along a cross-country ski trail in Yellowstone National Park died of hypothermia. Park spokesman Al Nash told The Billings Gazette on Wednesday that there was no indication of foul play in the death of 52-year-old Merik Morgan. Snowshoers spotted his body around noon on Saturday near a trail in the northwestern corner of the park.
Morgan had worked as a hiking, backpacking and skiing guide for the Arizona based-Wildland Trekking Co. since 2012, leading tours in Yellowstone in the summer and winter and Grand Canyon trips in the spring and fall. His biography on the company website said he also had worked as a ski patroller and at Montana ski hills.

Snowboarder’s survival: Three crazy days in B.C.’s wilderness – January 2015, BC, Canada
Most wayward snowboarders are dead by the time they reach day three of fending for themselves in the B.C. wilderness. But for Norwegian Julie Abrahamsen, that was only when she started to get annoyed.
“I was kind of negative the last day,” said Abrahamsen, 20, describing the final hours of an ordeal that included nearly drowning in a creek, going virtually without food, and being brushed by a coyote in her sleep.

Man found in RMNP died of hypothermia – January 2015, Colorado
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) – The Boulder County coroner’s office says a 25-year-old man whose body was found below a popular route up Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park died of hypothermia.

Lost snowmobiler shares tale of survival in wilderness – January 2015, Montana
A North Idaho man is thankful to be alive after he was stranded in the Montana wilderness for more than 30 hours following a snowmobiling accident. …He’s just thankful so many people came looking for him, and says he’s learned a lesson from his ordeal. Sadler says he never plans on going out without a survival kit and a radio.

Girl, 7, Who Walked Away from Plane Crash Had Survival Skills: Family – January 2015, Kentucky
The 7-year-old girl who walked away from a small plane crash in western Kentucky that killed four members of her family used survival skills passed down to her by her father to find her way to safety, relatives told NBC News.

Missing American found dead in Mexican mountains – December 2014, Mexico
Searchers on Friday found the body of an American man who had been missing in the rugged mountains in central Mexico since going on a hike four days ago. Carlos Mandujano, the civil defense coordinator for Morelos state, said a search team found the lifeless body of Hari Simran Singh Khalsa, 25.

3 Dirt Bikers Describe “24-Hour Adventure” Lost in El Dorado County Wilderness – December 2014, California
Three dirt bike riders say they are lucky to be alive after being stranded in rugged terrain off Highway 88 in El Dorado County. It was supposed pleasant afternoon ride on Saturday. “I thought it was going to be a two hour ride, which turned out to be over a 24-hour adventure,” Mike Page said.

Miracle survival of Alaskan man who spent three days in sub-zero wilderness after his snowmobile sank and he had to fight off a WOLVERINE with a stick – December 2014, Alaska
Craig Johnson, 38, is extremely lucky to be alive after being forced to spend three days in the Alaskan wilderness battling sub-zero temperatures. He was making an 80-mile trek through the wilderness when his snowmobile fell through the ice

Australian father, 2 sons found alive after 10 days stranded in wilderness – December 2014, Australia
SYDNEY – A 5-year-old boy and his 7-year-old brother were recovering in a hospital Monday after surviving with their father for 10 days in the Australian wilderness with little food and in weather conditions that ranged from stormy to scorching.

Mass. Hikers rescued from mountain after experiencing hypothermia – November 2014, New Hampshire
Two Massachusetts hikers were rescued late Friday night after experiencing mild hypothermia while spending the night on a New Hampshire mountain.

Autopsy: Hypothermia killed teen found near Cashiers – November 2014, North Carolina
SYLVA – A teenager whose body was found in a stream in a remote area of Nantahala National Forest suffered a broken hip, but the cause of death was hypothermia, according to an autopsy.

Missing hunters rescued in Provo, one with minor hypothermia – November 2014, Utah
Two overdue hunters have been found safe after they were reported missing in Utah County. The men are in good shape however, one suffered minor hypothermia. Officials said the pair took down a bull elk in Hobble Creek Canyon Saturday but didn’t have time to dress the animal and take it off the mountain. Deputies said the men went back first thing Sunday morning but once again ran out of daylight and wound up spending the night in the canyon. Authorities said a friend realized something was wrong and called the Utah County Sheriff’s office early Monday. Almost 20 local search and rescue members joined the efforts Monday. Crews in the air spotted the hunters and were able to help them safely off the mountain.

Family stranded for days on Northern Saskatchewan island – October 2014, Canada
A family of four pushed their survival skills to the limits after they became trapped on a remote island in Northern Saskatchewan on Wollaston Lake for three days.

Man still critical after 7-story fall at Raven Cliff Falls – October 2014, North Georgia
North Georgia emergency authorities crossed fallen trees and rappelled down a 40-foot cliff to rescue a man who had fallen 80 feet. The 40-year-old male fell Sunday from the top of Raven Cliff Falls in White County. Helen Fire Rescue Chief Lee Poteat said responders had a “pretty rough trip” getting to the critically injured patient. “We sent three teams in there,” Poteat said. “One team came in from the top of the falls, and the other two teams came in from the trailhead off Richard Russell Scenic Highway. Both teams got there approximately the same time.”

Search for missing hiker wrapping up with no leads – September 2014, California
It’s been 10 days since search and rescue teams started combing through steep terrain in Big Sur in search for Arvin Nelson, but leads have turned up nothing. The search for Nelson began promptly and support from search and rescue teams from more than 10 different agencies grew strong.

Search for missing hunter scaled backSeptember 2014, Montana
The 12-day search for Aaron Joseph Hedges has incorporated a wide range of high tech resources including aircraft such as military and civilian helicopters equipped with infrared and night vision cameras and spotlights, 20 dog teams, 7 horse teams, over 50 ground searchers, and a technically specialized high elevation team, who have exhaustively searched the Crazy Mountains east of Wilsall, MT yet very few clues as to Hedges whereabouts have been discovered. Late last week, however, several items of interest believed to belong to the missing hunter were found by search teams and confirmed by family members.

Body found in Kings Canyon National Park is Fremont teacher – August 2014, California
The body of a man found Wednesday in Kings Canyon National Park is that of a Santa Cruz hiker missing since Sunday, state authorities said Thursday. Gregory Muck, 46, left for a solo wilderness hike to Gardiner Basin on Aug. 10, and was scheduled to return home by Sunday, his wife Shannon Muck said this week. Monday, Shannon Muck alerted park dispatchers of her husband’s failure to return or check in. …A search and rescue effort covering a 4-by-5-mile area was launched, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Public Affairs Specialist Dana Dierkes said.

California Father Survives 5 Days in Wilderness – August 2014, Northern California
Man saved after he spells out “help” with pine needles. (ABC Video)

Girl, 4, Survives 11 days in Siberia – August, 2014, Siberia
A four-year-old girl is recovering in hospital after being lost for nearly two weeks in a forest where bears roam in the Russian north with only her puppy to defend her.

Hypothermia even a danger in Summer – August 2014, South Dakota
This weekend, we reported the body of an Illinois man has been recovered by searchers. 23-year-old Jordan Baznik had been missing for more than a week in the Black Elk Wilderness Area, and his preliminary cause of death is believed to be hypothermia.

4 kayakers treated for hypothermia after fall into Chagrin River – July 2014, Ohio
Four people were treated for possible hypothermia after falling into the water while kayaking in the Chagrin River on July 28.  About 3 p.m. Gates Mills Fire Department responded to Mayfield Road Bridge for a water rescue.

Rescued Kayakers Treated For “Mild Hypothermia” And Released – July 2014, Wisconsin
A 43-year-old woman and two nine-year-old boys were treated for what was described as mild hypothermia then released from a Marinette medical facility after their rescue following more than 15 hours in two kayaks on Green Bay.

‘Harry Potter’ actor Dave Legeno dies while hiking in Death Valley – July 2014, Death Valley, California
Temperatures can reach more than 120 degrees in Death Valley and police told TMZ that Legeno’s death was likely related to the heat.

Washington hiker battles bears while awaiting helicopter rescue on Pacific Crest Trail – June 2014, Washington State
The 50-year-old unidentified hiker, said to be an active duty U.S. Army soldier, said he fought off the animals with bear spray while waiting nearly seven hours for a rescue off a North Cascades mountain Saturday.

Scouts survive near-disastrous adventure expeditionJune 2014, Boundary Waters in MN and Canada
An Ohio Boy Scout leader credits calm thinking and advance preparation for being alive today following a harrowing boating ordeal.  “I was praying and also thinking … we’re prepared for this, we’ve been trained for this and we have the equipment to get through this,” said Howard Hudson, a scoutmaster for West Chester Troop 990, which embarked June 9 on a Northern Tier High Adventure Program in the Boundary Waters on the border of Canada and northeastern Minnesota.  Additional Source.  Additional Source w/rescue video.

UPDATE: Rainier hiker Karen Sykes died from hypothermiaJune 2014, Pacific Northwest
The hiker whose body was found in Mount Rainier National Park over the weekend was experienced, prepared and knew the mountain well after having written dozens of stories about treks through the area.

Experienced hiker rescued from Mt. WashingtonMay 2014, New England (link is local news cast video)
Dave Humphrey of Falmouth is an Eagle Scout, a retired Army Ranger, and has completed the Appalachian Trail. But his “day hike” up Mt. Washington this month put him to the test.

Out Alive: Six Days on a LedgeMarch 2014, Utah
I watched my big brother, Louis, smear out of sight and over the edge of a 100-foot exit rappel from No Mans Canyon and listened for his confirmation of a safe landing. Instead, I heard, “Oops. The rope is too short.” Then he said, “No biggie.” He’s my older brother, I thought. He always has things under control. Just then the rope whizzed through the sling that was securing it and was gone.

Kyndall Jack, Hiker Lost In Southern California, Talks About 4 Days In WildernessApril 2013, Southern California
Kyndall Jack, 18, and her friend, Nicolas Cendoya, went missing on March 31 in Cleveland National Forest after wandering off a trail during what they thought would be a short day hike…

How TV saved missing teen skier’s life March 2013, Maine
Nicholas Joy was lost in the Sugarloaf Mountains for two days, but the 17-year-old from Medford, Mass., knew how to fend for himself.  “[The rescuers] asked how he knew to do all this stuff, and he said he likes watching survival TV shows,” Sugarloaf Ski Resort rep Ethan Austin told FOX 411.  Please keep these shows in perspective.

Illinois father and two sons freeze to death during hike January 2013, Missouri Ozark Mountains
An Illinois man and two of his sons died from exposure to freezing temperatures during a weekend hike in the Ozark Mountains in southeast Missouri.

Adventurer who wanted to live like Bear Grylls in Scottish wilderness for a year found dead in less than a monthJanuary 2012, Scotland
David Austin (29) had told his family he was heading north to live rough off the land – something for which survival expert Bear Grylls has become famous.  He is believed to have attended several courses in outdoor survival and bushcraft skills over the past couple of years in order to realize his dream, despite being urged by family and friends to reconsider his plans.

The Kim Family’s Tragic Journey – November 2006, Oregon
The Kim family — parents James and Kati and children Penelope, 4, and Sabine, 7 months — disappeared Nov. 25, 2006 as they drove to Gold Beach from Merlin, just north of Grants Pass off Interstate 5. Kati Kim, 30, and her daughters were found Dec. 4 with the car after being stuck in the snow for nine days with few supplies. James Kim, 35, was found dead two days later in a creek. He had walked more than 16 miles in the cold and snow in a futile effort to get help.  ABC News 20/20



Below is a 1971 New Zealand Archives video about hypothermia.  Overall, the video has good information, especially for the time.  The only thing I wish they would have mentioned more was the importance of hydration.