What's the closest you've ever come to dying or being severely injured while doing outdoor activities? Camping, hiking, skiing/snowboarding, whatever. Whether through bad luck, poor planning, or just being stupid.
Anything that you were doing in nature where your life could have ended.
First time I ever went on a solo hike was when I was 12. No prep, just grabbed a backpack and some granola bars and a water bottle. 106 F that day, 3 mile hike up and down a hill. Going down was easy but I proceeded to pass out 2 times on the way back up, somehow didn't fucking die but probably suffered an internal injury at the time.
Heat stroke can have permanent repercussions. I've known people that got asthma after heat stroke.
106 and you only got one water bottle??.
>a 3 mile walk is considered an almost lethal endurance feat and not a simple lazy sunday afternoon family activity
Imagine being this fat
You've never walked in 40c weather before. At that temperature your skin becomes useless and water flows out of your body almost freely.
i should mention i was wearing a flannel long sleeve, jeans, a leather rucksack (which was pretty much fucking empty) and caterpillar work boots
Dad and I once broke through the ice layer on a marsh while hunting. I was leading, dropped straight through , water was at my chest. My dad fell through while trying to get to me. Same situation. I leaned forward, managed to hook my right foot on the edge of the ice, and pulled my self out. Scrambled back to my dad and pulled him out by his packs grab handle. Thankfully we were right next to the truck, we were stupidly taking a short cut to it after no luck.
My uncle, a stoic Hispanic man, who smartly took the longer route. Started laughing harder than I had ever seen him laugh. Once he saw us dripping wet and shivering.
I was climbing a low mountain with two of my younger brothers, we were having fun. A couple routes were mossy, lichen-y, but it was smooth sailing mostly. I was 22, they were 18 and 12. It started to rain softly as we got closer to the top, but I denied their concerns, said it wasn't a big deal just be careful, and we kept going.
Once we got to the top, the rain really started coming down, in spots. Me and my other brother looked at each other and noticed our hair was standing up. Lightning was considering us. We couldn't go back the way we came, the lichen is slippery when wet and those rocks were steep anyway, and below was at least a 50 foot drop.
The youngest brother was not really concerned, he trusted us, and although we didn't panic we both knew that we were in a dangerous situation. I found a nearby rock that we could jump to, a solid gap with a deep crevice, as you might find in a pile of boulders, as this Rocky mountain was. I told them "this way!" And jumped first. My younger brother waited for the youngest to jump, while I waited below. I was worried that he wouldn't make it, and I planned to jump out, catch him, grind my skull and feet on the stone and hope my younger brother could find a way to pull us up. But fortunately, that wasn't necessary. He made the jump like a champ, and so did my other brother. Then we started looking for shelter or a way down.
Goo downwards, I found a small rock cave, but when I started to go into it, I heard a low growl and eyes reflecting in the darkness. Pretty sure a mountain lion found cover in there and wouldn't share it with us without a fight. So I didn't mention it and we kept going. My younger brother found a sketchy crevice crab walking path to get lower. I didn't like it but it was the best option we had, so we went that way, and fortunately none of us slipped on the wet rock walls. He went first, then the youngest brother, then me. Slipping and falling was all I could imagine, but none of us did.
Hiked 30 miles with 1.5miles elevation in a day on amphetamines. My toes were bloody when I took my boots off at the end but I couldn't find the source. Pinky nails were beginning to crack too, my feet were even slightly oedemic. Body was dead for a couple of days afterwards. Overall fun experience, I did have several contingencies, but yea not sure I would repeat that, at least not for a while and not without more conditioning.
I'm deathly afraid of stairs on runs. Pretty lame story, though.
I do a lot of running outdoors and one of my routes used to be around a lake, part of which has an incline that you can scale with a set of stairs. There are maybe 50 steps.
I always used to sprint up these stairs until one time I was 75% of the way up and I just started falling backwards. I don't even know why, it was sort of like I was fainting. At the very last second before it was going to be over I managed to regain control and gran onto the rail. So now I don't run up stairs.
There are no stairs in nature. But yeah that sounds pretty scary, more people die from falling down stairs than shark attacks, for example.
>There are no stairs in nature.
My brother was chasing me up the stairs one time and he passed out as soon as he got to the top. He woke up 10 seconds later asking what the hell happened. It's definitely something that happens.
Women were a mistake
Was walking up stone mountain in atlanta with my dad probably a decade ago, started raining. Lightning struck probably 10 feet from us at one point, was pretty badass
went swimming in the early evening w cousins in the rio grande in early spring
didn't realize how strong the current was and barely got our younger cousins out without getting sucked under by an undertow or swept away with the current
I drove out to a trailhead late one afternoon, ATVing one last time before the snow got too deep. My riding buddy no-showed but I'd already driven an hour so I set off anyway. Near 10 miles out, I spotted a snow-covered log obstructing the trail with enough time to know I fucked up and not enough for the brakes to work. Quad did a bunny hop and I went soaring headfirst off into the brush.
Pick myself up out of a trench of snow and crushed undergrowth and stagger back to the trail and quad. There's bloody spot on my left glove, it hurts to breathe and I'm losing motor function in my right arm, like the fingers of a bare hand on a frigid day. My quad appears mercifully undamaged, but it's facing the wrong way I need to go now. The trail is narrow and operating the F/R shifter is agony. Dusk is falling and no help is coming. I suffer through an Austin Powers turn and carefully power back over the log. Steam is coming from under the hood now, and I seem my engine temperature is 15 degrees hotter than normal, there was some damage after all.
I retrace my path, speed falling as my ability to steer declines and the temperature readout climbs. Oddly familiar. Hundreds of times I've nursed a crippled plane and injured pilot back to the airfield in Warthunder. I can do it again. I have to stop twice to let my engine cool, thankful for the freezing temperatures even as I curse the chill gripping my extremities.
Eventually I round yet another bend at about 5mph and the trailhead comes back into view. Somehow my mitten-hand and t-rex arm combo gets the ramps down and I load up into my truck. The drive back is hazy and slow and cold despite the heater. Night falls. The city lights as I crest the final hill match nature's beauty for once. The traffic lights after, agonizing. I shuffle into the ER and am admitted for several days.
I got off with a minor laceration on the back of my hand, bruised lungs, a torn liver, and a broken shoulder. My helmet likely saved my life.
>internal organ ruptured
You are fucking lucky to be alive, you could have bled out in minutes.
I'm aware; still sort of processing it. Abnormal individual + abnormal experience = weird feels.
Next morning the doc made my fortune clear:
- bruised lungs but no broken ribs, collapse or puncture
- the liver is typically the first internal organ injured by deceleration instead of a direct impact, a sign the energy of the collision was on the verge of causing more severe/widespread damage with potentially permanent consequences.
- shoulder broke but remained in the correct location + orientation, held together by the many connecting muscles.
So recovery was complete, relatively rapid, and required no surgery or follow-up care.
Not too dangerous, but Ive had run ins, solo, with moose twice, been less than a few meters away from it. Luckily it ran away.
>Tornado while backpacking
I live in the South, and springtime (technically late winter, according to the calendar) can bring some pretty gnarly storms.
It was years ago in the Sipsey Wilderness, in Alabama. I had hiked about 25 miles over a day and a half, and was settling in for the second night. Rain and wind was expected, so my hammock was pitched in a pretty densely forested area, protected by a cliff on the windward side.
Late at night, trees around me were bending from the wind, some of them collapsing and falling into a nearby creek. Healthy-looking trees were floating down it. The rain was coming down in sheets.
I didn’t learn about the tornado until the next day. I got home and looked up how bad the weather really was, and saw that it was 40mph wind gusts. The tornado wasn’t close enough to effect/kill me, but it was only a few miles away.
I live 15 minutes away from Sipsey, wanna kiss?
I had two close calls where a fall would have been fatal.
One was climbing back up a steep cliff from a secluded waterfall, in a dangerous location where many people have met their demise over the years. I didn't bring a rope with me and found the climb back up to be scarier than descending. I was clinging onto every stable object that I could find on the steep cliffside. If one of those objects had given way, I would have fallen hundreds of feet to my death as there was nothing below to catch me. Not too long after gaining the ridge, I encountered a huge bear walking in my direction on an abandoned trail - which wasn't even the scariest experience I had on that foggy summer morning.
Another time, I camped in the high desert one night and decided to spontaneously climb up a nearby mountain the next morning. I didn't do any sort of preparation or research besides a quick look on my phone. I went up the wrong side of the mountain and found myself on a dodgy scramble up a heavily-exposed, steep-angle talus slope full of loose rocks. One misstep could have been the end of me. Even testing each rock for stability didn't guarantee that it would remain stable after I stepped onto it with the full weight of my body. Somehow I made it to the top of the talus slope with nothing more than a few scrapes and bruises. Then I got cliffed out and had to go back down that terrifying slope. It was a tremendous relief when I finally made it back to safety.
pretty sure I was getting shot at around the idaho montana border once around 7-8 years ago. never saw who was shooting. I abandoned my camp for over 24 hours and came back and it was untouched.
that where that no-laws zone is? can't remember where exactly but though it was somewhere along idaho and another state
when i was a kid my friends and i tied an "inflatable island" type thing to the shore and used to fuck around on it off the coast of whidbey island.
one day something happened with the rope on shore and we wound up floating around the puget sound with nobody knowing we were out there and no way to signal for help or anything.
we took turns going in the water and paddling for hours. stung constantly. one of my friends found out he was allergic to jellyfish and started having reactions. eventually we wound up on the shore of lopez island and we were fine.
Was ficking around in the saguaro desert because bored teenager and basically brought nothing. Got lost and super dehydrated but eventually found the highway and stuck my thumb out. Two hippy chicks picked me up and took me home cuz they just won big at the casino and owed karma or something.
I got stuck in a snowstorm on top of a mountain and was about to lie down and sleep until I ran into my dad and we walked down.
I solo on glaciers, which is always just gambling.
I don't care though. If I die, I die.
Nearly froze to death on Ben Nevis.
I was 15, stick thin and completely unfit, never been anywhere more rural than the veggie aisle of Tesco, and got dragged on a holiday to Scotland by a friend's mental dad.
To cut to the chase I found myself in jeans, hoodie and trainers lost in ~0C fog/cloud on the UK's highest mountain. We had no gear, no phone (it was just after the millennium) and no plan. To say I should have known better is fair, to say the Dad should have known better is a total understatement.
I remember we basically got turned around, sat down for "a quick breather" and it was pretty clear we were just sitting down to die. Exhaustion, hadn't seen another person in hours, no sound. Just black/grey stone, white/grey fog, visibility about 2 or 3 meters. I'd stopped feeling cold, and I was pretty happy to not be in pain any more. Dad nodded out first, I think my friend wasn't far behind but I was happy to just drift off.
We got found by a walking group lead by some apparently competent guy. I remember getting violently shaken awake and being annoyed, like "oh fuck you I have to be alive again" The group leader guy got the dad awake pretty fast, and walked us back to the granny path down. There was a serious vibe of "you nearly killed two fucking kids" in their conversation, proper strained not-in-front-of-the-kids shit.
Same holiday we nearly fell down a scree field into a gorge, which was fun.
I hear that gradual oxygen deprivation is one of the most peaceful ways to go. Higher brain functions gradually shut down while the person becomes increasingly happy and unaware of the decline, and give nonsense answers to simply questions like 2+2
Should have looked at the weather
Well, my experience with hypothermia was certainly peaceful. Basically just relief, which in hind sight was basically like going into shock (as I've heard it described).
Up til that point going up the mountain was one of the most miserable experiences I'd ever had. Painfully cold, no view, lungs on fire because I'd never done any hiking before, a few cuts and scrapes so I couldn't zone out... Passing out seemed far preferable and the part of my brain that would have worried about passing out FOREVER wasn't working.
>4 of spades 4 of spades