Lost in the Gatineaus is about three friends that go on an afternoon hiking trip and end up geting lost for 36 hours. One of the friends is designated as leader since the other two had never hiked the route they planned. As they were hiking they came to the end of any visible path or trail makers but instead of turning around they decided to cut through the woods. Instead of coming back the main trail as they anticipated they traveled through boggy land encountering a number of beaver ponds a thunderstorm and a couple of streams they waded across, until nightfall when they realized they needed to find shelter for the night. Earlier one of the women had managed to contact a family member with a cell phone but did not make their situation sound serious telling her “I'll call you when I'm on the road”. Around 11:30pm they received a call that one of the woman's father was out looking for them and the authorities had been contacted but it would be morning before they started a search. In the morning the woman got cell phone service and contacted her supervisor at work so that he could make sure they were being looked for. They waited were they were until 1pm when they got too impatient. They made their way through the bush and made their way to the ridge where they had lost the path. They managed to make another call to the police to tell them they were on the ridge. By the time the rescue party made it to them it was nightfall again and it was 11pm before they made it out of the park.
This story reinforces the dangers of hiking unprepared. Their first mistake was hiking a trail they were unfamiliar with without any kind of map. They also decided to leave the path and take a “shortcut”. It is clear that with better judgment that they would not have gotten lost. However I may have made the same mistake. The Gatineau hills are so close at with so much city around its hard to remember the dangers of leaving the trail. You forget how much forest there really is. It is important to be prepared for the worst no matter where you're going.
"Lost in the Gatineaus" Ottawa Outdoors 21 April 2010
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