How to spend a miserable night in the bush by Judith and Peter Hawkins - ***
In this article, Judith and Peter Hawkins share the outcome of what was supposed to be a four hour hike. Their hike took place in the Lake George region of New York in late September 2008. They had previously done hikes in that area and they said that the posted times were always generous. That being said, all that they brought with them were waists packs with lunch and two 750-ml water bottles. They also admitted to getting a late start, and they added another three or four kilometres to their hike by adding on a path that would rejoin their original route after going up and over the "Fifth Peak". Eventually they came near the end of their hike, only 15 minutes away from their car to be exact, but the sun had gone behind the hills to the west and it was pitch black.
The day of their hike the weather was gorgeous. "The day was beautiful, sunny, hot and breezy and we dressed for the weather in shorts and moisture-wicking shirts." Since their hike took them longer than expected they ended up spending the night in the forest. The weather that night was not so "hot", especially in the summer clothing they were wearing, not to mention that they didn't have flashlights, bugspray, or an emergency blanket. The temperature went down to 17 degrees celsius, and just before 6am it began to pour. While crawling around on their hands and knees feeling for the path they somehow ended up back at the lake. After retracing their steps back to where they had spent the night it took them another 15 minutes to get to their car.
This article really showed me how important it is to come prepared, and the possible consequences of not being prepared. I appreciated that even though these seasoned hikers were embarrassed to tell their story to their friends and others, that they still took the time to write an article about it for everyone to learn from. I would recommend this article to anyone who ever ventures out for this kind of activity.
Hawkins, Judith and Peter. "How to spend a miserable night in the bush" Fall/Winter 2009/2010 Ottawa Outdoors Magazine