Hiking? Let someone know!

The story out of Utah about a 59-year-old hiker surviving four days in the wilderness with a broken leg offers an important lesson.

From the Associated Press:

A hiker who endured four days with a broken leg and no food and shelter in the remote southern Utah high desert says her faith and medical background helped her pull through the ordeal.

Victoria Grover, 59, a physician assistant from Wade, Maine, was recovering in a Utah hospital after being rescued Saturday in a rugged section of Dixie National Forest, north of the town of Escalante.

Grover set out on a short day hike Tuesday from Hell’s Backbone Road, and broke her leg on the return hike while jumping off a 4-foot ledge about two miles from the trailhead. She then holed up along a creek at an elevation of about 4,500 feet.

To say she was lucky to survive might be an understatement. If you know anything about the high desert of Utah, you know it’s an especially harsh, unforgiving environment.

While Grover claims to be a “veteran outdoor enthusiast,” she made one potentially fatal error: She didn’t let anyone know where she was going!

Authorities were able to locate her through a rental car agreement found in her room at a guest ranch where she was staying. The establishment notified the sheriff’s office when she failed to check out Thursday as scheduled. Grover didn’t leave an itinerary of her hike behind.

If it wasn’t for her rental car agreement, or the alertness of the guest ranch to contact the sheriff’s office, chances are highly likely Grover would be dead.

Always, always leave an itinerary of your hike with someone! Hiking alone isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But hiking alone and not telling someone about your plans is just plain stupid.

Click here for the full story.

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5 comments

  1. Wow, that is pretty irresponsible. But I have to admit that I think I’m guilty of other things that could be detrimental to my safety. So I have a question — whenever I go on my backcountry camping trips, we bring a first aid kit but we don’t really talk as a group beforehand about what to do in certain situations. Do you have any advice for the best way to prepare safety-wise other than making sure to have a first aid kit? Thanks!

    1. Great question! Having a first aid kit is one thing. Knowing how to use it is another. Look into taking a first aid course, whether with a local park district, through the Red Cross, or even a Wilderness First Responder course. First aid knowledge and preparation can go a long way!

  2. wow.. she is lucky.. do you think at that moment she realized she needed help she said oh damn I didn’t tell anyone where I was going? You always see in the movies and stuff how the ones in need are all like.. oh some one will come looking for us.. if I didn;t come back I think some people here would just assume I ran away and not even bother… I guess I will have to put a I AM COMING BACK—-IF I don’t and you haven;t received a mysterious hang up ohone call with heavy breathing by.. such and such a day… COME LOOK FOR ME!

    the strange phone call is of course because if I ran away I wouldnt want to talk to anyone or be found… just let them know I am alive. WHat is the MATTER with me…

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