Nov 26, 2008 at 4:28 am #1232225
Huzefa SiamwalaBPL Member
Has anyone read stories of survival without a tent or a sleeping bag in extreme cold? I would love to read them!
Thanks in advance :)Nov 26, 2008 at 5:03 am #1460709
@mikefaedundeeLocale: Under a bush in Scotland
Dougal Haston and Doug Scott summited Everest, and were forced into an unplanned bivouac at over 28,000ft. They survived down to pure will-power, i think. Worth Googling for the full story.Nov 26, 2008 at 5:09 am #1460710
Chris WBPL Member
There are survivalists that do it regularly for fun but I've never read any big published stories on things of that nature.Nov 26, 2008 at 5:28 am #1460712
@jdw01776Locale: Southeast Texas
Dougal Haston's and Doug Scott's story is told in "Everest the Hard Way". After descending from the summit, they spent the night in a snow/ice cave that they dug with ice axes. One of them had only a pile suit and windshell for clothing. A great story.
I think that there were similar bivouacs at lower altitudes by members of the Sayre team as described in "Four Against Everest".Nov 26, 2008 at 10:29 am #1460732
Devin MontgomeryBPL Member
@dsmontgomeryLocale: one snowball away from big trouble
On one end, there's the perennial favorite Touching the Void (book and now DVD) – extreme cold, altitude, broken and frostbitten everything.
On the the other, I don't know if you can get it over there, there's Survivor Man with Les Stroud (of other-thread fame)- he uses survivalist methods for warmth, shelter, food and water in all kinds of climates.Nov 26, 2008 at 11:28 am #1460737
AKA "epics" if you are searching the net, "Epics on Everest: Stories of Survival from the World's Highest Peak"
I seem to recall a good account in one of the books of the "Boardman-Tasker Omnibus".
Perhaps in "Starlight and Storm" by Rebuffat.
Check out explorersweb.net
Sit on the rope and do crunches, or just go with the shivering. Eat, hydrate if you can.
In 1983? Outward Bound had us just spoon, but there was 10 of us, lots of time in the middle.Nov 26, 2008 at 1:43 pm #1460757
@bigjackbrassLocale: Northwest England
"Ray Mears' Extreme Survival" programme had some stories along these lines. In particular, I recall that series two contained an episode on mountain survival featuring the tale of an American father and son who were stranded for over a week after getting lost whilst skiing. You might be able to rent these DVDs as well as buying them (there are three series, with the first two being bundled together into one volume, and all are excellent viewing).Nov 26, 2008 at 8:44 pm #1460803
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> Dougal Haston and Doug Scott summited Everest,
VERY hard men. VERY!
CheersNov 27, 2008 at 8:07 am #1460824
Huzefa SiamwalaBPL Member
Thanks for all the suggestions!
I googled Dougal Haston and Doug Scott's story. Fortunately, I was able to read the story in Everest by Walt Unsworth. I am grateful to the author for much part of the book available for preview at books.google.com
It all so profoundly inspiring..Nov 28, 2008 at 10:31 am #1460949
It's been a while, but I remember enjoying The Crystal Horizon quite a bit. The White Spider by Harrer.
We Die Alone has a guy buried in snow for a while. WW II in Norway, very exciting.Jan 12, 2009 at 8:48 pm #1469716
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
This is well covered in many survival books and there is a whole bushcraft cult. Ray Mears is a guru in the field (no pun intended). Many follow the Nessmuk stories of George W. Sears and lean to the wool/canvas/leather/carbon steel gear.
Provided there are materials available, build a shelter and get a fire going. You can do a lot with just brush and forest-floor debris. Wet gives more trouble than cold.
IMHO, there are some weak spots in ultra-light gear lists in the areas of first aid and survival gear. Certainly ultra-light principles can be applied in building a personal survival kit– keeping things to the minimum, multiple-use, seeking out the lightest, high-performance materials and so on. Adding a few ounces of tools and supplies can allow you to make a fire, build a shelter, gather food and water, and signal for help.Jan 12, 2009 at 10:17 pm #1469729
@dangLocale: Pacific Northwet
Full length Ray Mears programs (Extreme Survival/Bushcraft/World of Survival etc) are available on Veoh.com.Jan 12, 2009 at 10:25 pm #1469732
Michael MartinBPL Member
@mikemartinLocale: North Idaho
Just take the BPL Wilderness Trekking III course…It's as close to survival as you'll want to get. ;)
[Yes, I'm just kidding. No disrespect is intended to those who've endured real survival situations in the cold.]Jan 13, 2009 at 8:51 pm #1470010
My dad did an overnighter in the mountains of SE Alaska once with no tent or sleeping bag. He was on a goat hunting trip with a buddy, and they shot one during the evening while they were away from their basecamp. They skinned the goat and realized they were too far to make it back before nightfall. So, they put on all of their clothing & raingear, crawled under the shelter of a low tree, laid down next to each other with their packs on either side, globbed on a whole bunch of insect repellant, and slept using the goat hide as a blanket.
The next day they finished cleaning the goat, went back to camp, and had a safe trip back. He tells me it was an eye-opening experience to spend a night out there without the normal gear.Jan 29, 2009 at 3:58 pm #1473889
@malndmanLocale: Central NC, USA
…back in '74, I hitchhiked to Vermont in December but arrived near Putney too late at night to make it to my friend's house. The traffic had ceased, and I was tired and getting cold walking in the winter night.
I had my jacket, wool cap, Sorels and gloves and perhaps too little common sense. There was a good layer of snow on the ground. I found an area off of Rt. 5, sheltered from the wind, to spend the night. I made a depression in the snow a couple feet deep, lined it with pine boughs, gathered a whole bunch more for a blanket and crawled in. I can not say how cold it got that night, clearly well below freezing, but I did fine. The Sorels keep my feet warm, and the pine boughs did the rest.
I do not recall thinking that I could be in deep trouble, it just seemed the reasonable thing to do.
Ah, the audacity of youth.Jan 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm #1473901
@pa_jayLocale: on the move....
Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales. More of a treatise on the psychology of survival – but the case studies are intense and the writing is very compelling and vivid. It’s a good read for anyone interested in survival.
I'll second the recommendation of anything by Ray Mears too.Jan 29, 2009 at 6:06 pm #1473919
@maynard76Locale: New England
Author of "Bushcraft"
I was lucky enough to take one of his courses.
The real deal.Jan 29, 2009 at 8:11 pm #1473951
@lyrradLocale: Greater London
Not for the squirmish this one:
Bear Grylls demonstrates how to use a camel as a shelter against a sandstorm. Warning: This is Bear Grylls, so that means gutting the camel and getting inside the camel for shelter.Oct 23, 2009 at 10:15 pm #1539221
@snowguyLocale: Boulder Colorado
I remember reading a book by Tom Brown Jr describing some survival shelter techniques and I believe his organization offers some workshops on survival training.Oct 24, 2009 at 7:31 am #1539263
Walter CarringtonBPL Member
Last night, NH Public TV had the movie version of "Touching the Void" by Joe Simpson. Simpson broke his leg while descending a serious climb in the Peruvian Andes. He spent 4 days alone escaping from a crevice and crawling across a glacier to get down. He didn't have a tent and I don't think he had a sleeping bag.
It's a powerful book.Oct 30, 2009 at 8:37 pm #1541378
"Bear Grylls demonstrates how to use a camel as a shelter against a sandstorm. Warning: This is Bear Grylls, so that means gutting the camel and getting inside the camel for shelter."
Han Solo survived a sub-zero night and pulled his buddy, Luke Skywalker, through the freezing extremes of the planet Hoth. He used their fallen Ton-ton with the same means, gutting and getting INSIDE for shelter. Jeez, we thought they smelled bad on the outside!
-Rogue TwoOct 30, 2009 at 9:12 pm #1541384
@johnnybgood4Locale: New Hampshire
A teamster in the late 1800's killed his horse, gutted it, and slept in it overnight under Boise Rock in Franconia Notch, NH.
This place is on the other side of the road (what is now sadly an interstate highway) from the Old Man of The Mountain site and a bunch of classic rock and ice climbs on Cannon Cliff. The AT passes by within a mile or two.Oct 30, 2009 at 10:31 pm #1541387
@lori999Locale: Central Valley
"He used their fallen Ton-ton with the same means, gutting and getting INSIDE for shelter. Jeez, we thought they smelled bad on the outside!"
It's a taun-taun…. [ /geek ]
+1 for Deep Survival – good read.
One of the SAR trainers I had occasion to listen to recently had good things to say about building a fire in a trench along a natural shelter, like a rock overhang. Evidently he slept comfortably in one in November at elevation during an extended search.Oct 31, 2009 at 12:06 am #1541395
Hikin’ JimBPL Member
@hikin_jimLocale: Orange County, CA, USA
In December 1984, my dad and I went out on a day hike. It turned into a three day hike. The first night it rained. We had neither jackets nor rain gear, and we certainly didn't have a tent. We had only brought lunch and a few snacks. I was wearing cotton clothes (jeans, T shirt, cotton long john top, cotton flannel shirt, and a baseball type cap). It was in the 30's, and it poured all night long. We did jumping jacks in place to keep hypothermia at bay — and this was after a difficult all day cross country/canyoneering hike. Any time we stopped to rest from exhaustion, we immediately started to shudder uncontrollably (first stages of hypothermia). Needless to say, this was by far the least pleasant hiking experience I've ever had. I found it interesting that in Touching Void, the protagonist wasn't moved to prayer. Quite the opposite for me. I've never prayed so earnestly in all my life.
P.S. Michel Blomgren of Sweden has posted a video about his spending the night without normal overnight gear in cold, snowy conditions.Oct 31, 2009 at 4:39 am #1541409
My first thought is of Jim Wickwire's bivuoac just below the summit of K2 in 1978. He didn't want to try to do the famed "Bottleneck" and "Traverse" in the dark. His bivy sack nearly slid off the mountain during the night. He survived and made it back to camp the next morning.
Regarding "Touching the Void," an incredible story. An injured climber slides off a sheer cliff face. His parther struggles to hold him and keep him from death drop into crevasse below. Forced to cut the rope before both die. Partner returns to camp, knowing Joe Simpson is dead. Just hours before they break camp to return home to US, Simpson crawls into camp, having crawled the entire way.
So is The Naked Mountain, by Rheinhold Messner, describing bold ascent of Nanga Parbat with brother Gunther. Unable to descend the way they came up, they had to try to traverse to other side of mountain to Diamir valley.
Mountaineers are biggest egoists in the world, but their stories are incredibly dramatic.
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