Ten things you need to survive in the wilderness

What do you need to stay alive in the wild?

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Two stories of survival in as many weeks.

Last week, a hiker survived five days lost in the Mt. Hood wilderness. And this week, a hunter was found nearly four days after he lost his way in the back country.

Veteran search and rescue leader Steve Rollins said these stories of survival are a reminder of the importance of being prepared even on a day hike.

"There's countless ways someone can get injured or lost," said Rollins.

Rollins has been a member of Portland Mountain Rescue for more than two decades.

"It really doesn't matter whether you're doing a hike in Forest Park or trying to climb Mt. Everest, the fundamentals are really the same," he said.

Those fundamentals start with knowing the weather forecast and the conditions of your hike.

Rollins said before you head out, tell someone exactly where you're going.

Then, make sure you have "the 10 essentials" which include a map, compass, extra food and water, extra clothing, first-aid kit, knife, fire starter, light source, extra batteries and a heavy duty plastic bag.

That bag will not only keep you dry, it will also keep you warmer when the temperatures drop.

"It will shut off evaporative heat loss and actually keep your warmer than a Gortex jacket when you're wet," said Rollins.

He also recommends hikers take along flagging tape.

If you do get lost, tie it on the trees in a circle about a hundred feet around you, and stay put.

That gives searchers a much bigger target to locate.

Rollins also pointed out while a cellphone is always good to have, hikers should never rely on it.

Service can drop out especially in remote areas.

And, he said, cellphones sometimes give hikers a false sense of security which may lead them to hike farther into an area and deeper into trouble.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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