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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by JookupVandetti View Post
    Very sad story. In hindsight a lot could have been done differently from everyone involved.

    This story make me wonder though about Strava. As most of you know it's an app a lot of us use to mark our rides. I wonder if it's possible for Strava to be contacted in an emergency and access the riders account to find the location. I know if you upload the ride your friends can see it but what if your phone dies?
    I have wondered this myself. If I synch my ride wouldn't it show exactly where I was at if you looked at my profile?

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnrsq View Post
    I'm glad to see the discussion focusing on what we can do to avoid tragedies like this in the future.

    There are other things that can greatly improve your chances of being found if something happens. It is surprisingly difficult to spot things from the air and it is not unusual for helicopters to fly right over people and not see them. Being able to signal for help effectively is important.

    A whistle is very light and the sound travels a LONG way. It also takes very little effort to use and is far less taxing than shouting for help. Mirrors are great for signalling aircraft or ground searchers from long distances and a flashing on a hillside will definitely get checked out. Finally, a simple light source - chemical light stick or flash from a camera can be seen very easily if night vision equipment is being used. That small fire you lit is going to be very visible as well. Brightly colored clothing will also help the SAR team spot you.
    Great advice

    Not sure if you've seen it but there is a good thread on stuff people carry for emergencies here
    What do you carry in case of Emergency?
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  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by palerider View Post
    I have wondered this myself. If I synch my ride wouldn't it show exactly where I was at if you looked at my profile?
    Problem is, it uses the cell phone towers reception to send your position.
    No cell phone signal no position.

    Plus although modern chips are a lot better than earlier examples, GPS can still have glitches.

    My old HTC phone had me in a position that way 1km away from my actual position a few times over the years.
    Sure the odds are it will be reading fairly close most the time, but if life has taught me one thing it's things tend to go wrong at the worst possible time.

    Personally i use GPS and find it extremely useful, the vast majority of the time it's accurate to within a few meters.
    When riding in familiar areas i use it mainly for data recording (HR, speed, cadence etc)
    When hiking in areas i'm unfamiliar with though i still recheck my position with my map and compass.

    I have had a few GPS's that have died for no particular reason over the years, likewise phones lock up, batteries die, my old S3 lost a GPS signal on two separate occasions in two different areas, even after shutting it off, removing the battery and turning back on, it still wouldn't lock onto as single satellite again.

    To balance that out i'm certain there are thousands of cases each year where a mobile phone and/or GPS location has saved lives.

    So for me personally i'll happily grasp any technology that could help me, but i prefer not to trust my well being on 1 thing.
    If i'm out in wild areas i always try to prepare for the worst.

    Couple of things that i do that can be useful in a emergency.

    1/ Leave out a printed rough itinerary and exact route for my Mrs, i also send it via email to outdoors mate.

    2/ Try to have enough clothing and kit with me to suit the conditions, it wouldn't be a comfortable night, but i should survive it kinda kit

    3/ If a bad situation arises and it's not time sensitive, then take a few mins to think through your options.
    I once had several flats on one ride, i'd used my spare tube and all my patches (long before tubeless), it was around 20 miles back to the car and i was in the middle of nowhere (Scotland).
    First thought was to push the bike back, but after sitting and weighing up my options for a min i worked out that i wouldn't be back to the car until the following morning.

    In the end i cut the inner tube, tied both ends off then stuffed long grass in the section of tyre that was missing the section of the tube.
    Result was it got me back to the car, tyre was absolutely knackered and the ride was terrible but it meant not having to spend a night out in foul weather.

    So taking a few mins and thinking things through can be a major help, sounds stupid but i do find i have a tendency to just get my head down and plough on through problems, which is not always the best way.
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  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    i always carry a lighter and some toilet paper with me...
    Lighters don't work if they get wet.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kliemann53 View Post
    Lighters don't work if they get wet.
    good point.

    now i'm going to carry it in a ziploc plastic bag. it's already in a pouch.

    as a matter of fact, i ought to buy another one and throw it in my first aid pouch which lives in a part of my camelbak least likely to get wet.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kliemann53 View Post
    Lighters don't work if they get wet.
    Yes .. You have to plan ahead for the worst scenario and hope for the best. Decide which option is most likely to be the most dependable under a variety of situations. A small bag of compressed dryer lint soaked with vasoline & Blast Match will light up under damp/wet conditions.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kliemann53 View Post
    A PLB wouldn't have changed anything, rain gear and a granola bar probably would have saved his life.
    Quote Originally Posted by jerry68 View Post
    If you are not going to be prepared for an emergency situation, at least be prepared for an emergency Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) | ACR ARTEX
    If he'd have punched the button at 5:30pm, instead of calling his Wife, and SAR knew where he was, things would have been more likely to turn out better. Either way my point was more that if you refuse to take responsibility to carry the basic items most of us carry for back-country adventuring, then at least make it easy for rescuers to recover the body.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    ... your idea of technical may be much different than other peoples idea of technical.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    good point.

    now i'm going to carry it in a ziploc plastic bag. it's already in a pouch.

    as a matter of fact, i ought to buy another one and throw it in my first aid pouch which lives in a part of my camelbak least likely to get wet.
    That's what I do (in Alaska). I also have fire-starting materials with me.
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  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by kris7047th View Post
    Yes .. You have to plan ahead for the worst scenario and hope for the best. Decide which option is most likely to be the most dependable under a variety of situations. A small bag of compressed dryer lint soaked with vasoline & Blast Match will light up under damp/wet conditions.
    Your tinder will burn absolutely no doubt, but what happens after that's burnt away?

    If it's been raining for a while it takes a fair bit of walking around to find anything remotely dry enough to burn only then if you are lucky and you know where to look.

    As i say primitive fire starting is a bit of a hobby of mine, in winter i'm practising pretty much daily and have for around 30 years.
    Even if i'm sat at home in the living room in front of the fire place, dry, warm, relaxed with 5 tons of firewood sitting a few meters away and have all my tools at my disposal it's still a challenge to get a good fire going with wet wood.

    A inner tube will burn for longer and hotter than Vaseline coated lint or cotton wool, even then it's still a major pain in the ass to start a fire in wet conditions.

    For those that have a fireplace please try it out first.
    Go through your firewood pile and find some branches from around pencil thick to coke can thick.
    When it's raining lay them out in the garden for a couple of days to get a good soaking.
    Now without a axe or knife and using only lint soaked in Vaseline try and start a decent fire and keep it going for 1 hour.

    It needs a LOT of patience, knowledge on how to build a fire, experience and even then a fair bit of luck.

    My advice is, unless you're transporting 3 litres of napalm i would not rely of starting a fire to keep you alive.

    It's a romantic notion that these staged "survival" TV shows portray but in the real world it's extremely tough to get a fire going with primitive tools in very wet conditions.

    Quote Originally Posted by jerry68 View Post
    If he'd have punched the button at 5:30pm, instead of calling his Wife, and SAR knew where he was, things would have been more likely to turn out better. Either way my point was more that if you refuse to take responsibility to carry the basic items most of us carry for back-country adventuring, then at least make it easy for rescuers to recover the body.
    Agree 100%
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  10. #110
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    Always sad to hear these stories.

    Spot2 here for piece of mind on remote solo rides.

    I also run the "track" function.
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  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbr6fs View Post
    Your tinder will burn absolutely no doubt, but what happens after that's burnt away?

    If it's been raining for a while it takes a fair bit of walking around to find anything remotely dry enough to burn only then if you are lucky and you know where to look.

    As i say primitive fire starting is a bit of a hobby of mine, in winter i'm practising pretty much daily and have for around 30 years.
    Even if i'm sat at home in the living room in front of the fire place, dry, warm, relaxed with 5 tons of firewood sitting a few meters away and have all my tools at my disposal it's still a challenge to get a good fire going with wet wood.

    A inner tube will burn for longer and hotter than Vaseline coated lint or cotton wool, even then it's still a major pain in the ass to start a fire in wet conditions.

    For those that have a fireplace please try it out first.
    Go through your firewood pile and find some branches from around pencil thick to coke can thick.
    When it's raining lay them out in the garden for a couple of days to get a good soaking.
    Now without a axe or knife and using only lint soaked in Vaseline try and start a decent fire and keep it going for 1 hour.

    It needs a LOT of patience, knowledge on how to build a fire, experience and even then a fair bit of luck.

    My advice is, unless you're transporting 3 litres of napalm i would not rely of starting a fire to keep you alive.

    It's a romantic notion that these staged "survival" TV shows portray but in the real world it's extremely tough to get a fire going with primitive tools in very wet conditions.



    Agree 100%
    You may have lots of practice starting fires but many of your comments show that you really don't know what starting a survival fire is about. A survival fire does not need to have logs or coke can size pieces of wood. A very small fire that is maintained will warm you up. When starting a fire in adverse conditions you don't begin with pencil size pieces you begin with toothpick size pieces and slowly build from there. Your right that it is not easy and that is why its important to practice when your life doesn't depend on it. I have built fires on top of snow in the rain and if you don't rush the process it is never impossible.
    When you've seen someone rupture their scrotum on a bike you won't take the standards for top tube clearance lightly!

  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossJamis View Post
    You may have lots of practice starting fires but many of your comments show that you really don't know what starting a survival fire is about. A survival fire does not need to have logs or coke can size pieces of wood. A very small fire that is maintained will warm you up. When starting a fire in adverse conditions you don't begin with pencil size pieces you begin with toothpick size pieces and slowly build from there. Your right that it is not easy and that is why its important to practice when your life doesn't depend on it. I have built fires on top of snow in the rain and if you don't rush the process it is never impossible.
    Problem is, with soaked wood you NEED to get enough heat from the fire to dry out the next batch of wood you're going to burn, the ONLY way you can do that is with larger logs.

    If you start splitting logs then things start to get a LOT easier, but as i say carrying a axe or a knife stout enough to batton with is not really what most folks carry.

    The other problems you overlook are:

    1/ Good luck finding a nights supply of toothpick to pencil thick dry tinder

    2/ Good luck keeping a fire burning all night with such small fuel (it burns out extremely quickly with very little heat, you only need a damp batch of twigs and your fire has gone out)

    3/ Good luck getting enough heat out of such a small fire to dry your clothes and keep you warm all night

    I also have to ask, if you have the dexterity, energy and mobility enough to scout for what would need to be 100's of yards in all directions looking for such small fuel, why are you not using that energy, mobility and dexterity to get yourself home?

    I've played with small wood burning stoves for many years, anyone that has any experience with small fires like these knows exactly the amount of fuel you'd need to keep them stoked all night.
    You are talking a arms full of dry dead twigs every 30 mins, it's just not realistic to keep this burning all night, that's why we move onto larger logs.
    Larger logs literally gives us more time to burn, you also get to a point where the fire puts out THAT much heat it will dry the logs you have put around the fire ready for when you burn them.

    I'm English so have a fair bit of experience in wet weather


    One last thing,
    Who is to say that you'll be stranded in a wooded area?
    Even if you are in a wooded area who's to say that the area around you wouldn't be extremely steep, enough to make straying off the path dangerous?
    What if you have a broken leg?
    A fire is simply not a possibility then.

    What about if you've broken an arm or had what seems to be the most common MTBer injury and broken collar bone, can you build, start and maintain your fire with 1 arm?

    Having a active survival plan is fantastic, it's absolutely pointless unless you have a passive survival plan though, a plan which means you have enough clothing or weather protection with you to survive a night out without needing to actively create enough heat to live.

    What you see on TV is NOT realistic, in the real world wet soaking wood does not magically take with one strike of a fire steel and you can't "edit in" a healthy stock of re cut fire wood for the night.
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  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbr6fs View Post
    Problem is, with soaked wood you NEED to get enough heat from the fire to dry out the next batch of wood you're going to burn, the ONLY way you can do that is with larger logs.

    If you start splitting logs then things start to get a LOT easier, but as i say carrying a axe or a knife stout enough to batton with is not really what most folks carry.

    The other problems you overlook are:

    1/ Good luck finding a nights supply of toothpick to pencil thick dry tinder

    2/ Good luck keeping a fire burning all night with such small fuel (it burns out extremely quickly with very little heat, you only need a damp batch of twigs and your fire has gone out)

    3/ Good luck getting enough heat out of such a small fire to dry your clothes and keep you warm all night

    I also have to ask, if you have the dexterity, energy and mobility enough to scout for what would need to be 100's of yards in all directions looking for such small fuel, why are you not using that energy, mobility and dexterity to get yourself home?

    I've played with small wood burning stoves for many years, anyone that has any experience with small fires like these knows exactly the amount of fuel you'd need to keep them stoked all night.
    You are talking a arms full of dry dead twigs every 30 mins, it's just not realistic to keep this burning all night, that's why we move onto larger logs.
    Larger logs literally gives us more time to burn, you also get to a point where the fire puts out THAT much heat it will dry the logs you have put around the fire ready for when you burn them.

    I'm English so have a fair bit of experience in wet weather


    One last thing,
    Who is to say that you'll be stranded in a wooded area?
    Even if you are in a wooded area who's to say that the area around you wouldn't be extremely steep, enough to make straying off the path dangerous?
    What if you have a broken leg?
    A fire is simply not a possibility then.

    What about if you've broken an arm or had what seems to be the most common MTBer injury and broken collar bone, can you build, start and maintain your fire with 1 arm?

    Having a active survival plan is fantastic, it's absolutely pointless unless you have a passive survival plan though, a plan which means you have enough clothing or weather protection with you to survive a night out without needing to actively create enough heat to live.

    What you see on TV is NOT realistic, in the real world wet soaking wood does not magically take with one strike of a fire steel and you can't "edit in" a healthy stock of re cut fire wood for the night.
    Look I don't want to waste everyone's time by debating every silly statement you make and believe me there are many.. You've bragged repeatedly about tons of experience in fire starting but your statements show an ignorance of real world application. I will just sum it up in this, it is not necessary to split firewood to maintain a fire that will keep you warm. It is also not necessary to completely dry out your clothes in order to stay warm. A very small fire and something that can reflect the heat back to you can do a very adequate job in getting you through the night.
    Your "what if's" are really just pointless because there can always be a scenario where your preparations are made useless/Ex: What if you fall in the water and all your clothes including your spares are soaked?
    I wish you the best.
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  14. #114
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    Lets put aside the argument of who knows more about making fire in an emergency situation. I think it's safe to say that without the requisite skills, making a fire in wet conditions, especially if injured or hypothermic, is not going to be a ready option for most of us. By all means, pack waterproof matches, but other options mentioned in this thread are more practical and require no special skills. Proper clothing and shelter, calories, charged cell phone, compass, etc, etc. All of these are measures can be taken by anyone who wants to be prepared for when things go wrong.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  15. #115
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    "Your "what if's" are really just pointless because there can always be a scenario where your preparations are made useless."
    Many scenarios can make attempting to start and maintain a fire in adverse conditions useless. That is his point, and it's a good one.

    In the present case, it had been raining. A lot. All the little twigs you say you can use to start and then sustain your fire for hours on end (assuming there were any), were soaking wet.

    Giving people the idea that practicing on dry tinder at home and carrying a lighter in their camelback is adequate training to save themselves in this type of emergency simply gives them a false sense of security. In an emergency situation such as this one where the rider was experiencing brain numbing and muscle control inhibiting hypothermia, the rider will most likely fail.

    The contributor you are bashing brings up valid points. Points that someone preparing for solo journeys into the wilderness should consider.
    Last edited by Centurion_; 03-15-2014 at 08:37 PM. Reason: Deleted last sentence.

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Centurion_ View Post
    Many scenarios can make starting and maintaining a fire useless. That is his point, and it's a good one.

    In the present case, it had been raining. A lot. All the little twigs you say you can use to start and then sustain your fire for hours on end (assuming there were any), were soaking wet.

    Giving people the idea that practicing on dry tinder at home and carrying a lighter in their camelback is adequate training to save themselves in this type of emergency simply gives them a false sense of security. In an emergency situation such as this one where the rider was experiencing brain numbing and muscle control inhibiting hypothermia, the rider will most likely fail.

    The contributor you are bashing brings up valid points. Points that someone preparing for solo journeys into the wilderness should consider. Labeling them as silly just makes you look small.
    Thanks for jumping in and not reading what was posted.. One I never said anything about maintaining a fire with twigs.. I was making the point that you don't start a fire with pencil size twigs. Every boy scout knows this. Nor did I recommend practicing on dry tinder at home that was done by the guy your supporting.. There are situations where a fire is the only thing that will be able to save you. The man who lost his life was in that situation. Even when everything seems like it is soaked there are still ways of finding fuel that will burn.
    When you've seen someone rupture their scrotum on a bike you won't take the standards for top tube clearance lightly!

  17. #117
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    I've practiced starting fires in the snow when it's cold out in Alaska. Yes, it's EXTREMELY hard when it's cold or wet out. The key is to have some sort of acceleratant/fuel that you can use to keep it going until you can get fuel dried out enough for it to sustain on it's own. The alternative is expending a crazy amount of your own energy to try and keep the thing going (scrounging the dry-ish fuel), while your hands become inoperable due to the cold and hypothermia. Even "cheating" doesn't make starting a sustainable fire easy.

    So on solo rides when I ride in cold temps away from help I do take a "firestarting kit". It's more than just a lighter, I've learned it takes more.

    In any case, BE PREPARED. It's so nice to go out riding when it's in the single digits and you have just the right amount of clothing on, pogies, the right jacket, the right balaclava, etc. You feel great and it doesn't feel like anything special, yet get someone from a warmer climate and put him out there without the right clothing and it can easily become a life and death matter. I used to go riding in AZ sometimes when it was in the teens and colder, even down to around -5 once, but I was miserable every time. I've commuted and done trails when it's -15 with no problems. On bigger rides you plan for clothing you might need, layers, a place to put the layers you don't need at the time, food, redundant backups, etc.

    It's not about taking a SAR device or starting a fire, it's about taking reasonable precautions and being prepared. Being prepared doesn't hinge on those two things, yet there should ALWAYS be a cushion of safety you have designed into your ride, whether it's in the stuff you bring, how many people you go with, or the ability to modify your plan and "come out" without having to backtrack or make it to an unreasonable destination. This seems to be what is missing sometimes in a few situations that turn tragic. It's not about any one thing that would have been the "magic bullet" and saved it all, it's about the cushion of safety that should have been there to start with to prevent getting into a situation where the options become so narrow that they hinge on one thing (the search and rescue team deploying that night).
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  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    It's not about taking a SAR device or starting a fire, it's about taking reasonable precautions and being prepared. Being prepared doesn't hinge on those two things, yet there should ALWAYS be a cushion of safety you have designed into your ride, whether it's in the stuff you bring, how many people you go with, or the ability to modify your plan and "come out" without having to backtrack or make it to an unreasonable destination. This seems to be what is missing sometimes in a few situations that turn tragic. It's not about any one thing that would have been the "magic bullet" and saved it all, it's about the cushion of safety that should have been there to start with to prevent getting into a situation where the options become so narrow that they hinge on one thing (the search and rescue team deploying that night).
    Well said.
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  19. #119
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    "There are situations where a fire is the only thing that will be able to save you. The man who lost his life was in that situation."

    with all due respect i wonder about this assertion if the victim has suffered a concussion.

    "His speech was slow, and he had difficulty answering questions. He said he had fallen."

    this leads me to believe that mr marin MAY have suffered a head injury and was not thinking clearly. otherwise, he only injuries were scratches and cuts. i'd like to know if mr marin was wearing a helmet or if one was found near him.

    however, i agree that fire can save you if you're not too injured to build one.

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    "There are situations where a fire is the only thing that will be able to save you. The man who lost his life was in that situation."

    with all due respect i wonder about this assertion if the victim has suffered a concussion.

    "His speech was slow, and he had difficulty answering questions. He said he had fallen."

    this leads me to believe that mr marin MAY have suffered a head injury and was not thinking clearly. otherwise, he only injuries were scratches and cuts. i'd like to know if mr marin was wearing a helmet or if one was found near him.

    however, i agree that fire can save you if you're not too injured to build one.
    Yes of course he may have been too far along to build a fire. But if he did hit his head that was not what killed him it was hypothermia.. His having slurred speech and difficulty answering questions are normal symptoms of hypothermia. And his falling may have been a result of the lack of coordination that comes with it. If this is what happened and I suspect it is if he has stopped sooner and had a way of warming himself the story might have had a different outcome.
    When you've seen someone rupture their scrotum on a bike you won't take the standards for top tube clearance lightly!

  21. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossJamis View Post
    Yes of course he may have been too far along to build a fire. But if he did hit his head that was not what killed him it was hypothermia.. His having slurred speech and difficulty answering questions are normal symptoms of hypothermia. And his falling may have been a result of the lack of coordination that comes with it. If this is what happened and I suspect it is if he has stopped sooner and had a way of warming himself the story might have had a different outcome.
    just out of curiosity, why do you think it was hypothermia first and not a fall, then the cold?

  22. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    just out of curiosity, why do you think it was hypothermia first and not a fall, then the cold?
    Based on what he was wearing and the weather I would say it was inevitable that he would get hypothermia. The fall may have very likely happened because of loss of muscle control because he was already hypothermic. When he called his wife his speech was slurred and he had difficulty answering questions. These are also signs of hypothermia. If he had not fallen I believe the end result would have been the same. But beyond that here is his wife's statement from the article. "Arista said the Riverside County coroner told her Marin had scratches and cuts but nothing that would have killed him. She believes he simply froze to death."
    When you've seen someone rupture their scrotum on a bike you won't take the standards for top tube clearance lightly!

  23. #123
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    I feel terrible for his family, and it is a lesson we can all learn from. Crazy things can happen, but a space blanket alone may have been able to be fashioned into a poncho and allowed him to ride back without succumbing to the cold, or wait out the weather. Cell phones can break, I pulled mine out of my camelback the other day and the screen had shattered, I didn't crash the entire ride. Hydration bladders can leak, pedals can strip out, any number of things can go wrong. Equip yourself as well as possible to survive.

    It's unlikely a head injury led to his demise, even severe brain trauma takes awhile to develop into lethal swelling, and should have been readily visible during autopsy.

    For those blaming the rescuers, yes they sign up for it but imagine if your spouse or child died trying to save someone that made many foolish decisions and may have already been dead before they even found them. While ideally he would have been found quickly, if he had been able to hunker down and stay warm he would have been found eventually, hopefully alive.

    It does surprise me that he wasn't able to maintain his body temp by riding, I'll start off on cool days feeling chilled and warm up almost immediately, but it's another lesson to be learned.

    Heck, a space blanket, bic lighter, dry tinder, whistle, knife, bandages, and iodine tablets could be stashed in your seat tube on every bike. Most of us ride with hydration bladders which leaves a ton of room to fill a water bottle with energy bars, unlikely spare parts and more and put it in the bottle cage. I think I'm going to prepare both of my bikes.

  24. #124
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    To try and move on what i believe has become a really useful thread, let me say this.

    I'm not arguing that a fire could be a life saver if you're caught out on a really cold and wet night.
    My point is that it's a unreliable source of heat.
    You may not be in a wood when you stop, you may not be able to get a fire started, you may be injured so wood collection is not possible.

    These are all very real scenarios, so my point is it's crazy to trust your life on being able to build a fire.
    It's far better to have enough clothing and supplies with you to see you through a cold miserable night.

    Sure a fire would make that night a little less miserable, but still in my opinion you should have enough clothing with you to see you through a night.

    That doesn't have to be a $200 down jacket either, a fleece jumper and a water/wind proof can often be enough in all but the coldest places, especially if you are lucky enough to find some shelter.

    Even then it's imperative to think things through, collect ferns, grass or even branches to sit and/or lay on, anything to keep you off the ground.
    If possible keep getting up and moving as vigorously as you can to keep your body heat up, if you can star jumps your ass off every hour or so.

    If you have taken shelter it's imperative that you leave some sort of sign on the trail to where you've moved, obviously if it's snowing this is going to prove difficult, but something as basic as hanging a wheel from a branch is better than nothing.

    If it's not snowing try to leave a "SOS" in leaves, branches, rocks or whatever you can on a section of trail that's visible from the air, if you've moved off the trail then 2 branches can make a arrow to point where you are going.

    As jerry68 said even if you can't make it through the night, you owe it to your family to make it easy as possible to find your body.
    Cold and sad but you'd be surprised how many hikers are still missing, many years after they disappeared.
    There is a great site here with entertaining and respectful writing on the pitfalls of searching for lost outdoors enthusiasts, if ever i'm lost this is the guy i want searching for me.
    Search and Rescue

    One tragic story of Bill ewasko that went missing in the Joshua Tree National Park in June 2010, after days and weeks of repeated searches he still hasn't been found.
    Searching for Bill Ewasko
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  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbr6fs View Post
    Search and Rescue

    One tragic story of Bill ewasko that went missing in the Joshua Tree National Park in June 2010, after days and weeks of repeated searches he still hasn't been found.
    Searching for Bill Ewasko
    The links you shared reminded me of something that happened back in my home county. It's a story of the failings of a search party.. But to be clear I am not posting it as a criticism of the SAR team involved in MR Marin's Case.

    But anyways years back a real piece of work in upstate NY impregnated his step daughter. Then to hide his sin he killed her and took off. Search parties went out looking for him but never found him. There were police involved and people definitely wanted to see him found. After a while the search was called off and it was assumed that he had gotten away. I said at the time I bet hes lying out there dead. About a year later a hunter stumbled across his remains on the other side of the creek! He had killed himself and his body was not far from the house. No one involved in the search ever thought that a man trying to allude the police would cross a creek!?
    When you've seen someone rupture their scrotum on a bike you won't take the standards for top tube clearance lightly!

  26. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatorgrizz27 View Post
    It does surprise me that he wasn't able to maintain his body temp by riding, I'll start off on cool days feeling chilled and warm up almost immediately, but it's another lesson to be learned.
    Not too surprising. Sure it is easy to stay warm on a climb or pedaling on the flat, but it is easy to get chilled on even a short descent. Especially in a thin layer that is damp from rain or perspiration from sweating on the climb up.

    And how many of us could continue to exert enough effort to stay warm on a 50+ mile ride without refueling? If you are bonking, it is hard to even stay upright, let alone ride strong.

    It's sad that something as simple as a couple of energy gels and a rain layer in a jersey pocket could have made this story turn out differently.
    I drank the 29er koolaid- turns out it was POWERade

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    I don't mean to dig up an old thread but I'm watching the news and a snowboarder at boreal was doing some back country boarding/skiing and it's currently dumping snow, and there are a ton of search and rescue volunteers out there now. Also in Forest Hill, a runner on the Western States Trail has gone missing and it is snowing out there as well. He was told to only have light running gear. There is a HUGE effort to locate this runner. It too, is snowing heavily in that area but search and rescue is out there doing there best to get him home. So I'm curious what the differences are. Why do volunteers go out in the heavy snow to look for a runner and a snowboarder (in northern california) but nobody went out to look for a mountain biker (in southern california). Thoughts anyone?

  28. #128
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    Location experience and the SAR teams ability at a guess ie the LAC feels conditions arent so bad as to put his teams at risk so they will continue until the situation changed

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    When it rains hard in Southern California everything goes to hell. The roads turn to mud. In northern California it rains and snows all the time so things don't get as dangerous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iWiLRiDe View Post
    I don't mean to dig up an old thread but I'm watching the news and a snowboarder at boreal was doing some back country boarding/skiing and it's currently dumping snow, and there are a ton of search and rescue volunteers out there now. Also in Forest Hill, a runner on the Western States Trail has gone missing and it is snowing out there as well. He was told to only have light running gear. There is a HUGE effort to locate this runner. It too, is snowing heavily in that area but search and rescue is out there doing there best to get him home. So I'm curious what the differences are. Why do volunteers go out in the heavy snow to look for a runner and a snowboarder (in northern california) but nobody went out to look for a mountain biker (in southern california). Thoughts anyone?
    Local sheriff officials who are in charge (legally responsible) for the search make decisions on search management. Risk is always a factor. The snowboarder is equipped for the conditions based on info from family. Selected southern California SAR teams are responding as part of a mutual aid request. It is very easy to armchair quarterback these efforts. Contact your local SAR team and see about volunteering. FYI- the runner was found alive.

  31. #131
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    So I can share a little bit of knowlege I have learned over the past few years. I am currently stationed on a remote island that is part of the aleutian chain, and I have also been to a number of military survival schools. I also work search and rescue.

    Fire- fire is generally considered to be morale. You will use a lot of energy collecting wood, kindling, etc.., to have fire. It is absolutely not a necessity in a survival situation.

    Shelter- your primary shelter is your clothing. Plan ahead! Where I live it can be 45*F and sunny one moment, and freezing/sleeting with 60 kts of wind the next. I personally bring enough gear to survive the night, even on short hiking trips up mountains I can see from my living room window. I do not wear all the clothing at once. If you live in a colder climate, the packable puff jackets are amazing! I also carry an emergency bivvy sack. It is about the size of an avocado compressed, and will save your life.

    Food- food is a good thing to have and most of us are knowlegable of what to bring for caloric intake, however it also is not a necessity. Personally, I like to have extra gels and lots of water just in case. If you are stuck out and run out of water, dont be afraid to drink from a flowing river. It is better to have giardia than to die from dehydration. That being said, dont eat snow, it will make you hypothermic.

    Cell phones- do not depend on them. Where I ride, cell service is often non-existent. Batteries die. Phones break when you fall. It is best to leave a plan with a family member or friend.

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    They found the runner after two days. He's fine, amazingly.

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    It was amazing, Anne. The runner was able to find help near the bridge and the snowboarder found a home and called for help. It was said that the chances of either surviving was very low, yet they beat the odds.

  34. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbr6fs View Post

    One tragic story of Bill ewasko that went missing in the Joshua Tree National Park in June 2010, after days and weeks of repeated searches he still hasn't been found.
    Searching for Bill Ewasko
    Another of a father/daughter who when missing in NM on a two mile hike back in 2002 and weren't found until 2010.
    ABQJOURNAL UPFRONT: Death in El Malpais: Mystery Lingers
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  35. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by iWiLRiDe View Post
    I don't mean to dig up an old thread but I'm watching the news and a snowboarder at boreal was doing some back country boarding/skiing and it's currently dumping snow, and there are a ton of search and rescue volunteers out there now. Also in Forest Hill, a runner on the Western States Trail has gone missing and it is snowing out there as well. He was told to only have light running gear. There is a HUGE effort to locate this runner. It too, is snowing heavily in that area but search and rescue is out there doing there best to get him home. So I'm curious what the differences are. Why do volunteers go out in the heavy snow to look for a runner and a snowboarder (in northern california) but nobody went out to look for a mountain biker (in southern california). Thoughts anyone?
    Well for one, the area around Boreal is relatively tame by backcountry standards and bounded by a road on all sides (highway 80 and Soda Springs), not to mention Donner Ski Ranch and Boreal make up a large portion of that area. It also depends on what kind of assets you have in place and what gear they have, how far they have to go to reach said lost/injured person and what may be required to pull them out. Going in 20 miles on foot can be a lot different than covering a mile of snow-covered terrain on skis. My point is that you really can not compare one situation to then next. Totally different variables and dynamics.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  36. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBNate View Post
    Another of a father/daughter who when missing in NM on a two mile hike back in 2002 and weren't found until 2010. ABQJOURNAL UPFRONT: Death in El Malpais: Mystery Lingers
    A similar situation with a guy who went for a very short walk (a quarter mile) on a broad paved trail at Mesa Verde National Park in June 2013 and simply disappeared. It was very hot and he had no water, but the trail head is at the visitor center/museum area of a hugely popular national park and the paved trail leads to a cliff dwelling down in the canyon.
    Searchers saturated the area as well as a broader area and found nothing. Oddly, two people possibly heard him call out for help, one of them a reporter from High Country News. Her account and some ruminations on her experience, death in the wilderness and Ed Abbey are here.

    Having worked & lived at MVNP in the past, I guess it is possible that he ventured off the path and was killed by a mountain lion; they are common in the park and partially bury the remainder of their kill after they have eaten. He may have been disoriented from heat and lack of water and wandered off the trail. However, nothing can account for no one finding him or any remains. He was in a canyon. Every inch was scoured by searchers. He was visiting the park with his family and there is no evidence that he took a powder. What the heck?

    As for the runner who was found alive? He was in amazingly good shape for having spent two nights out in bitter cold. I can't say much for the running group who left him behind (unless he was ahead of the group when he made his wrong turn).
    Last edited by June Bug; 04-02-2014 at 06:00 PM.

  37. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by mevadus View Post
    Cell phones- do not depend on them. Where I ride, cell service is often non-existent. Batteries die. Phones break when you fall. It is best to leave a plan with a family member or friend.
    I do not have nearly the amount of training or experience you do, but I like to think I've got common sense.

    I worked at a summer camp for kids ages 9-15 before graduating college. Along with doing trail and property maintenance I also taught kids "outdoor skills." One of the primary things I taught them was how to tell people where you are going. We did several excises that involve teams of "searchers" and "lost hiker". I played the lost hiker in both cases. The first round, I showed the kids a map and which trails on the map I'd use to get to my destination. I showed them what I was wearing, how much water I had, and how long it would take me to get to my destination.

    As a lost hiker, I told them that I'd be simulating someone who was injured WITHIN 50FT THE PATH I told them I'd use and could not move or speak.

    The first time, with all the information I told them, they'd find me (as long as they used the map correctly) within 10-15 minutes.

    In most cases the searcher teams would walk right by me sitting in jeans in a t-shirt within 50ft of the trail. I usually just sat with my back against a tree. There was one girl in particular who was better at spotting me than the others. We played this game twice a week for 8 weeks and most weeks she'd spot me at least once.

    The second time, I wouldn't give them any information other than "I'll meet you at the pool."

    They never found me.
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  38. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by June Bug View Post

    As for the runner who was found alive? He was in amazingly good shape for having spent two nights out in bitter cold. I can't say much for the running group who left him behind (unless he was ahead of the group when he made his wrong turn).
    The newspaper article says that he was in a big group of runners, which split into a faster group and a slower group. He was with the slower group. When they stopped for a rest, he said that he'd keep on going and catch up to the faster group. He made a wrong turn before reaching the faster group.

    I think his runner friends are off the hook on this one. When they all got together at the end and realized he was not among them, they raised the alarm.

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