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Two on survival

Talk about SHTF! Here’s the blog of somebody who survived a solid year of you-know-what impacting the rotary airfoil. He now teaches others.

His English isn’t perfect. Never mind that. (Tip o’ hat to A.)


And you’ve probably heard about this incredibly lucky young lady rescued from her car in the Arizona highlands after nine days stranded in snow.

This article doesn’t say it, but she was apparently on an extended road trip, wandering around with no destination and nobody knowing where she was. In December. A mile above sea level. With snowstorms forecast. With a dead cellphone. With no emergency gear. Not even a warm coat or a blanket in her vehicle.

I won’t say anything about the gene pool. I realize even the best prepared among us could get stuck in deadly circumstances beyond our control. But if you want a textbook case in how not to survive, here you have it.

Almost as bad as those young morons a few years ago who decided to take Nevada dirt roads when the freeway was closed by snow. You do have to give them points for pluck, if not common sense.


  1. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal December 22, 2011 7:05 pm

    A few days ago I had to make a rather short road trip to pick someone up from work. Only a 26 mile round trip. In blizzard conditions (mild blizzard).

    Before I left I grabbed (besides the bug out bag that is always in the car) a wool blanket, extra water and food, made sure I had a cell phone charger with me, and dressed warmly including my badger fur hat. I was almost to my destination when I had a blow out. I was feeling smug about packing the emergency supplies (but not about having the blow out- yes, I had checked my tires before I left). So, I grabbed my cell phone and called AAA then sat comfortably while waiting for the guy to arrive and change my tire. Sure, I could have changed it myself, lying in the slush, but hey, I pay for the service so it isn’t necessary. And, I did stand out in the blizzard to keep him company while he did the work.

    As it turned out I didn’t “need” any of the supplies I packed, but it sure did feel nice knowing they were there. Yet, I was still ridiculed later for having taken all that “crap” with me. Ridicule all you want- I like being prepared.

  2. EN
    EN December 22, 2011 7:37 pm

    Thanks for the Selco stuff. Been reading him for a while but didn’t know he started his own blog. He’s well worth reading.

    As for the young lady in the car let us hope that no one here would without a jacket while driving around in the snow. Not even a way to make a fire or a candle!!! That’s seriously unprepared. Excuse my lack of sympathy, but it might have been better is she froze to death as a lesson to the stupid. Now, like the equally moronic Stopla’s she’ll get a movie and make some serious bucks out of stupidity that denizens of Oprah will UUUUUHHH and AAAAAHHHH, over.

    Nice Kent. I helped a friend in Minot, SD get set up for the Spring flood they had early this year. She told me recently that even though it didn’t affect her much beyond no power and water being prepared had changed everything for her and made her much more confident that she had the means to weather any emergency. It’s an awful feeling to have something so simple as a blowout and not have so much as warm clothing to deal with it.

  3. Standard Mischief (dot) com
    Standard Mischief (dot) com December 22, 2011 8:52 pm

    The first time I ever crossed the Rockies it sure felt like i was unprepared. (we have “mountains” back east too you know 😉

    I kept having to detour, as every pass was marked “chains only”. I was driving a van across country as a favor for a friend and I had no idea there actually were chains available hidden in the back. There was certainly ample signage though. I was surprised at the weather warnings because it was mid-May and just the other day I was wearing shirt-sleeves under Sequoia trees.

    I tried every eastbound pass that was north of Yosemite until I hit US-50. That was OK though, because Lake Tahoe was worth seeing, even in the snow. Later that day I dropped down into 80 degree Reno.

    As unprepared as I felt, I still had winter clothing (headed toward Montana), a sleeping bag, A weeks worth of food in the cooler, a cooking kit, first aid stuff, and enough miscellaneous crap that I could easily had improvised snowshoes if needed. Oh, and I had a 12v cell charger (and a big clunky digital cellphone that also had analog available as a backup (think a decade or so ago) plus an adapter for the thing that takes AA batteries.

  4. Don
    Don December 22, 2011 9:30 pm

    And these folks (apparently) are allowed to leave home without an escort and reproduce without restriction.

  5. EN
    EN December 22, 2011 11:04 pm

    “And these folks (apparently) are allowed to leave home without an escort and reproduce without restriction.”

    It explains a lot about what’s happened to our country.

    “(we have “mountains” back east too you know ;-)”

    That made me chuckle. Way back in 1965 my parents moved back east and insisted that my 13 year old ass go with them. Easterners always talked about going to the mountains. I remember telling them that our mountains were different than their mountains and you could tell by their attitude that we lived in different universes.

  6. JFP
    JFP December 23, 2011 12:02 am

    Reminds me of the guy from the SF bay area who got stuck in snow in southern Oregon a few years ago. He missed the state highway for the coast and thought via his gps that he could get west over the mountains on back roads in his subaru. They got stuck, had the whole state damn near looking for them off of I-5. They finally found him and his family. He died in the snow not far from his wife and kids trying to get help. At least the wife and 2 kids survived.

    Senator Diane Feinstein in her infinite wisdom wrote a letter or two trying to put blame on a road sign/road block not being chained across the road the guy drove on. Uh, if its snowing, there is a sign saying road closed in winter/hazard warning but the chain/block isn’t up and you’re in your station wagon with two kids, you skip the idea of making your bed n’ breakfast reservations on the coast because you missed the coastal highway up in Roseburg and drive back down to the interstate. I talked with one guy (from NY I think) in response to that story say, “well I don’t know what a forest road is, I’d drive on it too.”

  7. bumperwack
    bumperwack December 23, 2011 5:40 am

    Good stuff Claire

  8. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty December 23, 2011 8:31 am

    I was going to college, long ago, and one day before Thanksgiving I had cleaned out my car and didn’t take the time to put things back. One the way to class that evening, I was about 30 seconds too late to witness a head on collision between a sm. pickup truck and a big flatbed. The driver of the big truck was dead drunk, and the woman driving the pickup was just plain dead. Her toddler had not been restrained and was a mess of broken glass cuts and heaven only knows what other injuries. Nobody had cell phones in those days, but a trucker who came on the scene only moments after I did used his radio to call for help. We carefully got the baby out of the truck and I spent the next 45 minutes fighting to keep her from going into shock.

    I didn’t have anything to work with… to wipe off the blood or keep her warm except to put her inside my jacket and use my body heat. I had not so much as a kleenex in that car! (I don’t carry a purse).

    So, I vowed that my car would never again leave the yard without as much emergency stuff as I could carry. And it never has.

    I drove some 200 to 300 miles a day on desert back roads and into wild areas of So. Calif. for 14 years as a nurse. I carried a major first aid kit, tent, sleeping bag, food, water, fire making stuff, tarps, extra clothes, chains for the car and much more.

    In all those years I had one flat tire (changed by a passing gentleman) and a brief stop for a sand storm. I never once used any of the things I carried for a road emergency, though I rotated them out occasionally and used them elsewhere.

    The ONE time I needed that stuff… I did not have it.

  9. EN
    EN December 23, 2011 10:20 am

    “The ONE time I needed that stuff… I did not have it.”

    And that lesson applies yesterday, today and forever more. It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Nothing of note ever happens when you’re prepared, because you’re prepared and I’m ready for nothing to happen.

  10. Scott
    Scott December 23, 2011 10:34 am

    I think the Universe gives you a “free one” every now and then as a lesson-that is, you can do something really stupid and get away with it, but it should also scare you into not doing the same stupid thing again.
    Everyone has got caught unprepared at some point or another, but if you’re smart, it’s only once.
    My Lunchbox Of Doom is a source of giggles, but I keep small, useful things in it. Screwdrivers to put glasses back together, fingernail clippers to pull out splinters,a Case peanut knife,a small multitool-and an assortment of similar small items. Good for giggles, amybe, but I get asked for a specific item from time to time as well..

  11. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal December 23, 2011 2:27 pm

    Scott- your “Lunchbox of Doom” sounds like all the stuff I carry on my person at all times. LOL. It’s why I wear a vest with lots of pockets and a couple of belt pouches.

  12. A.G.
    A.G. December 23, 2011 6:53 pm

    Merry Christmas, all!

  13. Claire
    Claire December 23, 2011 7:38 pm

    Merry Christmas, A.G. — and everybody here. And to keep the comments on topic: may you all survive the holidays in style.

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