Idjits Needing Rescue

I keep seeing stories like this, and they still never cease to amaze me.

Pair of hikers from Texas — stranded with no rain gear, layers or provisions — rescued in Sangre de Cristo mountains
“These hikers were highly unprepared,” AVSAR said. “They had no extra clothing and no way to stay dry in their tent, with no rain fly. These hikers said they did not understand why it was so cold and rainy in Colorado, because it has been ‘so hot in Texas’ where they hike all the time.”

The hikers’ tent was inadequate for Colorado conditions, one of many errors AVSAR says could have resulted in their death had search and rescue not been able to reach them.

“They never checked any weather forecasts and did not have any extra food, water or layers for the intense hike in or the night to camp,” AVSAR posted. “This is an extreme example of how ignorance can kill people suddenly in these mountains.”

That story has a link to ten essentials to carry when hiking. Heck, I’ve got half or more of ’em on a daily basis, much less when hiking (which ain’t really happening anymore).

Shoot, several years ago I was camping with a group. As we were setting up camp, someone needed some item, and I casually pulled one out of a vest pocket. Something like that happened two or three more times; I think the last one was, “Anybody got pliers?” and I held out my multitool.

A kid had been watching this and asked, “What all do you have in that vest?” in amazement.

“I don’t know. What do you need?”

He asked for something basic; may have been just a pocket knife, which of course I have. Then he asked for a candy bar.

I pulled out a chocolate chip granola bar and said, “Close enough?”

At that point he started yelling for his brother. “Come here! You half to see this. He has everything in his vest.”

“Yeah, right.” L— always was the cynical one.

“No, really. Just ask him for something. He’ll have it.”

L— scoffed, and gave it a shot. “Got any wire?”

I reached back to the vest map pocket, and pulled out a coil of coathanger wire. His jaw dropped.

That last was a fluke. While I routinely carried 550 cord, the wire was generally in my truck. By luck, just a few minutes earlier, someone wanted to hang a lantern and and I’d gotten the wire out of the truck, then stuck it my pocket when we were done.

So I don’t have a lot of patience and sympathy for idiots who can’t be bothered with life essential basics

(Hat tip to Zendo Deb.)

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2A advocate, writer, firearms policy & law analyst, general observer of pre-apocalyptic American life.

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