SUBLIMITY, Ore. — A mother and her 3-year-old son were rescued Monday morning after spending a freezing night outside in Silver Falls State Park in Marion County.

Temperatures in the park were below freezing, getting down into the low 20s overnight.

Josie Chisum, 24, of Salem, and her son Logan left on a hike around noon Sunday with Chisum's boyfriend, 25-year-old Joshua Dixson, also of Salem.

"I started freaking out, because it was dark and we were going in circles, and I knew we were too," said Chisum.

They got lost during the hike and after the sun set, the couple decided that Chisum would stay with her son inside the park, while Dixson walked out to try to find help.

"Either all three of us stay and huddle together and wait for dawn, and then we find the path in the light, or one of us needs to go find help," Chisum said.

Chisum and her son spent the night waiting under a tree along the Rim Trail inside the park. She wrapped her son up under her sweatshirt to keep him warm.

"I told him, look you'd be saving us," said Chisum. "You go find help and we can get out of here."

Dixson made a call for help around 3 a.m. Monday. Searchers with Marion County and Mountain Wave Search and Rescue responded to the area and began looking for the mother and child on foot and in vehicles.

"I actually thought I'd be rescued and sent to hospital and have my feet taken off because I thought they were so frozen," Chisum said.

At around 8:30 a.m. Monday, searchers found Chisum and her son. They were both cold and wet but otherwise healthy. 

"I just broke down in tears," Chisum said. "It was nice to see someone."

The group didn't have proper attire or gear for winter weather when they left on their hike.

"I definitely learned I should pack a little more just in case," said Chisum.

"Always carry enough supplies to survive at least 24 hours, even when setting out on a day hike," said Marion County Sheriff's Office Lt. Chris Baldridge. "In these remote areas, cell coverage is not [always] an option, so hikers should be prepared to treat emergencies until rescuers can arrive."


  • Food
  • Water
  • First-aid supplies
  • Warm clothing
  • Navigational instruments