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Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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Hiker Dies After Four Days Without Water

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SHANEA

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Hiker Dies After Four Days Without Water
« on: October 24, 2006, 11:39:10 PM »
THERE IS A MORAL AND A LESSON TO BE LEARNED FROM THIS TRAGIC EVENT.  This mans death will not be in vain if this never ever happens again because you cached and carried MORE than enough water than you think you might possibily need and if you run low on water, abort the hike and head em home to do it another day.    I encourage everyone to change their profile and put in a signature line of "Cache and Carry Water".  Lynn coined this term on the board and it sure is fitting.  Maybe that should be the slogan used on the t-shirts from the contest.  There is absolutely no reason to ever run out of water on the trail.   Plan your hike and work your plan.  Mark your last container of water as your emergency supply with a piece of tape and label it or buy a red/orange container to alert you.  Once you tap into your emergency supply, then it's time to head to a water source.  

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Cache and Carry
Caching water at one or two locations along the loop, in addition to packing all you can carry before setting out on your hike is the key to sucess on the Outer Mountain Loop. from http://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/bc_outermountainloop.htm


http://home.nps.gov/applications/digest/headline.cfm?type=Incidents&id=2948&urlarea=incidents

Quote
BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK
Hiker Dies After Four Days Without Water

Rangers began a search for 71-year-old Carl Springer of Conroe, Texas, on the afternoon of Sunday, October 22nd, when a routine check of solo hiker forms revealed that he was 24 hours overdue from a four-day hike. His vehicle was quickly located and it was determined that he had not checked out of his motel room. The park's ranger/pilot began an aerial reconnaissance of Springer's proposed route – the Outer Mountain Loop Trail, an arduous mountain and desert hike around the southern half of the Chisos Mountains. On Monday morning, ground teams began a search of the entire 28-mile route with the assistance of the park aircraft and a Customs and Border Protection OH-6 helicopter. Springer was spotted from the airplane around 3:30 p.m. The CBP helicopter ferried a SAR team member to his location, which was in a rugged drainage over a mile from the trail. Springer was alert and oriented but too weak to stand. He said that he’d run out of water four days before being found. Attempts were made to re-hydrate Springer and move him to the helicopter, but his condition deteriorated. A park medic was flown to the scene and IV therapy was begun. Other searchers climbed to his location and helped move him to the small, two-seat helicopter. Springer was flown to the helipad at Panther Junction, then transferred to the park’s ambulance. Care was provided by park medics and a physician who was in the park to instruct an EMT-I refresher course. Despite their efforts, Springer was pronounced dead while en route to a rendezvous with a life flight helicopter.

Contact Information
Name: Mark Spier, Chief Park Ranger


http://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/bc_outermountainloop.htm

It was rather warm during the last few days at BIBE, not the 100+ heat that you experience during the true summer of the region, but hot enough to be a concern - highs close to 90 F and lows in the upper 40's F - 50 F degree swing.






CACHE AND CARRY WATER!
CACHE AND CARRY WATER!
CACHE AND CARRY WATER!
CACHE AND CARRY WATER!
CACHE AND CARRY WATER!
CACHE AND CARRY WATER!
CACHE AND CARRY WATER!
CACHE AND CARRY WATER!
CACHE AND CARRY WATER!
CACHE AND CARRY WATER!
CACHE AND CARRY WATER!
CACHE AND CARRY WATER!
CACHE AND CARRY WATER!
CACHE AND CARRY WATER!

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Offline Undertaker

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Hiker Dies After Four Days Without Water
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2006, 08:31:27 AM »
Fact is BB is a desert, winter and summer, when the weather is mild you do not feel like you need the water, YOU DO. Question, why didn't the park service helocopter just fly the man to hospital rather than extend trip time by calling for ground transport, or meet dust off at PJ? Hopefully as you said, this will be a lesson, BB is a DESERT all year long. Leave trip plan, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. :cry:  :cry:
Visiting BB since 1966, nothing like being lost and finding heaven.

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SHANEA

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I Imagine...
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2006, 09:02:14 AM »
Quote from: "Undertaker"
Question, why didn't the park service helocopter just fly the man to hospital rather than extend trip time by calling for ground transport, or meet dust off at PJ?


I imagine it was because the man was in such bad shape and the helo was only a 2 seater - no room for EMS.

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Offline okiehiker

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Second guessing
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2006, 09:53:39 AM »
It is always easy to second guess a SAR operation.  

I can speak from experience that it is better to avoid the need to be rescued in the first place.  

SHANEA is right... have enough water with you to get you to your next water source.  On my Grand Canyon trip in August we started with 25 gallons of water, caching 10 gallons on the Esplanade a day and a half in.  

It was overkill.  We left five gallons that we didn't need.  Someone who is there later will need it.

What has not been discussed too much is how the hiker got lost.  A GPS is great, but a thorough knowledge of using a map and compass cannot be replaced.  Know where you are, where you are going, and be aware of how long it will take you get from point A to point B.   Allow AT LEAST a gallon of water per person per day in average conditions. MORE if it is hot.
Funny... I have a story about that...

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Offline Undertaker

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Hiker Dies After Four Days Without Water
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2006, 01:18:04 PM »
Having been involved with SAR and also Paramedic, I never second guess anyones choice who is physically on site. I may have missed point that chopper was only two seat. Just noted it would have been quicker. Still sad that even with the expert advice on this site as well as when you check with rangers, folks still don't plan.  In 4 years in Arizona, also a desert, it amazed me how many folks don't leave a trip plan and carry or stash enough water even with warnings. Failing to plan, and simple mistakes get you hurt or dead.  On almost every SAR we went on there was NO TRIP PLAN to be found, most of the ones we found had inadequate water supplies even for a day trip, typically the most prepaired were the climbers, almost all with experience and all still alive at time of rescue, still accidents do happen.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate, Plan, Plan, Plan, Leave notice where and when you will return. 8)
Visiting BB since 1966, nothing like being lost and finding heaven.

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Offline Bull

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Hiker Dies After Four Days Without Water
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2006, 06:37:57 PM »
Hello all, just registered and so very sad that first post would be on such tragic news. The NPS and folks like you all here are such great sources of safety information and common sense guidance. I guess you cannot save some people from themselves. I also have met many hikers alone and in groups on the trails without any water or provisions. How do you explain the possible errors of their ways?
I was priviledged to be one-half of the crew to install the bear box in the picture and others in the backcountry and 100 in RGV last year at this time.
We did have plenty of help from some Park Rangers and our Biologist to get that box in the picture to it's location. Living and working in Big Bend was truly a life changing experience!
Bear boxes....did someone say bear boxes?

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Offline Casa Grande

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Hiker Dies After Four Days Without Water
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2006, 09:13:00 PM »
I suppose this reply can be duplicated over on the Solo Hiker thread, but it never ceases to amaze me how many times I've seen people without water.  I'll stop and say, hey, where's your water and they scoff at me and look at me like, who are you, my daddy?

It's especially upsetting when I see them hauling their waterless kids with them. I usually report the sighting to the station, hopefully that helps.

Moderator note:  The Children in the wild topic was split off from this topic.... and apparently has disappeared or been renamed so I can't find it.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 01:29:33 PM by RichardM »

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Offline Picacho

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Hiker Dies After Four Days Without Water
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2006, 09:04:37 AM »
Another reason I like to hike and climb in Big Bend in the winter.

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Offline PyramidBlaster

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Hiker Dies After Four Days Without Water
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2006, 02:20:55 PM »
It's a tragedy that today's society continues to divide us from the nature we all evolved from. Similarly, I find simple common sense to be increasingly out the window or over the shoulder. No traveler through the west 100 years ago would have made such a preventable, simple error. It's almost comonplace anymore. It's a wonder how we will survive as a species.

Seriously, I read through the BBNP news regularly, expecting to see 'Hiker dies from dehydration; one empty Pepsi bottle found alongside' style reports on every visit.....LET'S ALL JUST USE THE LUMP ABOVE OUR NECKS, HUH...?

Enough rant.... :shock:
"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents."-H.P. Lovecraft

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Offline presidio

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Hiker Dies After Four Days Without Water
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2006, 02:48:45 PM »
Quote from: "PyramidBlaster"
I find simple common sense to be increasingly out the window or over the shoulder. No traveler through the west 100 years ago would have made such a preventable, simple error. It's almost comonplace anymore. It's a wonder how we will survive as a species.


As I have previously noted, most people do not have to live by their wits because technology carries them along in a cocoon of safety. When you don't have to use your survival smarts, you tend to lose them, like losing muscle mass without exercise. When technology fails, people who haven't exercised their common sense typically do not do well in solving the problem.

Rudin's Law says: 'In a crisis that forces a choice to be made among alternative courses of action, people tend to choose the worst possible course'.

However, Teddy Roosevelt  was also correct that: 'In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The next best thing you can do is the wrong thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing'.

The moral is: Do the best you can with what you have and, above all, don't ever give up.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline Casa Grande

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Hiker Dies After Four Days Without Water
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2006, 03:18:42 PM »
Quote from: "presidio"

However, Teddy Roosevelt  was also correct that: 'In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The next best thing you can do is the wrong thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing'.


gotta love that Teddy  :D

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Offline PyramidBlaster

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Hiker Dies After Four Days Without Water
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2006, 03:22:17 PM »
I agree...We would be so lucky to have more of his kind around today.

I once threatened to dress as TR for Halloween, but There's no way I could ever really pull it off...I hang my head in shame.....
"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents."-H.P. Lovecraft

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Offline Undertaker

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Hiker Dies After Four Days Without Water
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2006, 04:20:38 PM »
Bully :lol:  :lol:  8)
Visiting BB since 1966, nothing like being lost and finding heaven.

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Offline presidio

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Re: Hiker Dies After Four Days Without Water
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2006, 10:13:56 PM »
Quote from: "SHANEA"
Maybe that should be the slogan used on the t-shirts from the contest.


Well, now that you mention it, when will the contest resume so that the 3- or 4-way deadlock can be solved?
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Hiker Dies After Four Days Without Water
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2006, 10:20:19 AM »
Here is the obituary for Mr. Springer in today's Houston Chronicle:

http://www.legacy.com/houstonchronicle/DeathNotices.asp?Page=Lifestory&PersonId=19731891
Jeff Blaylock
Austin, Texas

"We'll be back, someday soon. We will return, someday, and when we do the gritty
splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey

 


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