Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Lost in the Woods, Part 6


When it comes to being lost in the woods, for the most part I agree with the experts.
i.e.; stay where you are and stay visible.
But where does that philosophy change?  
let's face it, there are those situations that demand you take immediate actions…  Or face the consequences for your inaction.

Once the effects of dehydration set in, many of the bodies functions quickly begin to deteriorate.  And many of us fail to recognize that by the first visible signs of hyperthermia, it may already be too late to reverse the affects without a usable water source and electrolytes standing by to balance the body's systems again.  Plain water alone is simply not enough to restore the body functions once it has been depleted in such a way.

(Continue reading below our video)


Besides the sluggishness, headache, shakiness, nausea, confusion, and the gallons of sweat the seem to be pouring out of you uncontrollably, your capacity to think clearly quickly diminishes once you reach a hyperthermic state.  Soon after you begin vomiting  uncontrollably as your stomach goes into spasms due to lack of moisture in your system to the point where you even have trouble keeping water down without bringing it right back up again.

In a survival situation it becomes crucial to watch the color of your urine as it becomes a clear and early sign that dehydration is setting in.  The darker the urine the greater the need.  This is also why it becomes less useful to try to utilize this urine for drinking as it is already depleted of all its useful ingredients.  Not to mention that most people end up vomiting just from the attempt, and therefore making their dehydration far worse than it was before making the attempt.

My own experiences with hyperthermia or heatstroke have given me a great respect for the fact that water is indeed life and without it none of us have very long. So finding water before dehydration sets in can be one of the most important moves you make towards your own survival.

Part 6 of Lost In The Woods is broken down into three short sub parts.  All of which pertain to the search for water and/or rescue from the current situation.
Plotting a Course deals with straight line navigation through the wilderness.  Despite the fact that walking through the woods is never a straight line proposition. Some of the finest ideas on navigation are indeed the simplest. 
Our First Signs Of Water seemed easy to spot in this early autumn environment.  But what looks so obvious in the fall can also be used to a much subtler degree in the summertime as well.  For example, if a particular area looks unusually lush and green, it may be because of an open water source nearby and it's at least worth exploring.  Other signs to look for are willow trees.  Willow doesn't like to grow too far away from water.  
But remarkably, the one sense that has led me to more water in my lifetime than any other has been my ears.  Unfortunately however, due to my years as both a construction worker and as a musician my hearing isn't all it used to be.  Thankfully, TaSunka's ears are far better than mine ever were.
Much as my First Nation Elders did in the old days by watching their horses ears, I do today by watching my service dogs ears today.  I may not be able to understand exactly what he's saying to me, but I can easily tell from his ears and how they move when it's something I should check out for myself.
 The rule of 3's is one of those little survival quotes that I continually run through my head.  And there's a reason that I placed it so late in the series.  More often than not, when initially lost in the woods, we don't usually consider ourselves in a "survival situation" until we've begun to run out of vital supplies.  
Even though the facts of the situation clearly describe otherwise, we continue to think of ourselves as merely lost instead of surviving and quite possibly even fighting for our lives.  But the sooner you can bring the rule of 3's to bear on the situation the better.

The problem with the rule of threes however is that it does not take into account other variables that people with health problems may be dealing with.
 For example,
  • How many days can you go without your medication or medications after you run out?
  • Can you lower the dosage to stretch your medications out?
  • Do you have a needed medical device with you that requires batteries or will soon need charging?
  • How many days can you handle the anxiety, stress, isolation, and extreme conditions of the present situation while fighting not only the withdraw symptoms from medications like antidepressants, breathing inhalers or pain medications...  BUT possibly also the extra stress put upon those now doing without medications for a heart, diabetic, or one of the thousands of other condition requiring scheduled daily dosages of medications. 
  • How are all the other rules now affected by these new variables?  

Some of us won't last three weeks without food.  Indeed, some of us would not last three days without water.  And all due to certain medications we might be on or conditions/illnesses we might be dealing with at the time.

The rule of 3's can indeed be a useful thing.  Based upon my observations you might want to do little personalization based on your own needs and limitations.  But just as I have found, it's doubtful that you will still be able to call it The Rule of 3's anymore as the name will no longer apply.

This is kind of what I envision my Rule of 3's to look like after a few Disabled Hiker type modifications.

  • 3 minutes without air
  • 3 hours without shelter
  • 1 day without water  (before incapacitation occurs)
  • 2 day without food (before incapacitation occurs)
  • 2 days without medications (before incapacitation occurs)
  • 3 days without water  (before death occurs)
  • 3 weeks without food (before death occurs)

To be certain, nothing short of a total overhaul will do.  This is exactly what must be done too the Rule of 3's in order to make them work to our advantage.
I know, Kinda looks like a rule of 1's, 2's, and 3's, now don't it? 
But what ever works best for you is what's most important in this situation.

We're almost out of the woods now.  But we're not home yet.

Tune in next time to find out what our heroes do next.
Hope you enjoy part 5 of
Lost in the Woods.

Thank you all so much for watching.
Please remember to
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Be well ... and Happy Hiking!

Produced by: Terry Craig,
The Disabled Hiker

Assistant editor: Dave Deubler

Photos & video by: Larry Deitch,
& Terry Craig, 

Featuring music by: Mad Mme. Em

Due to the dangerous nature of filming while trying to survive in the wilderness, and multiplied by the physical issues I deal with on a daily basis,

Lost in the Woods is being presented as a simulation of compiled past personal experiences for the purpose of demonstrating techniques and skills associated with surviving a similar event.

Therefore, the producers of The Disabled Hiker would like to stress that the information contained within all parts of Lost in the Woods is meant for demonstration & entertainment purposes only.

Disclaimer: This blog, written articles, video presentations, and all content within are not intended to take the place of professional medical advice. Please consult your Doctor before making any changes to your treatment plan and/or changes to your exercise routine.

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