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[at-l] Whites and slackpacking

Sometimes the ability to think straight isn't helped by warm
semi-tropical climates. Even the ability to read accurately appears to
be a challenging task, such as the invention of the victim's dependence
on a cell phone and seduction of slackpacking.

Jim, you are correct regarding cognitive processes as exposed hikers
become ill. Among the memnonics (wish I could spell) that apply to our
sport, the UMBLES stand out. Grumble, Mumble, Stumble and Bumble a four
easily observed behaviors that can help detect deterioration in a
hiker. These can help hikers recognize problems in their hiking
partners, and occasionally in themselves.

With hypothermia, often the best decision is to STAY RIGHT WHERE YOU
ARE as a means to conserve calories for self resuscitation in emergency
shelter and sleeping bag and food bag. The deaths in the Great Smokies
during the blizzard of '92 were those who left their shelters.

In this case, potential rescuers were not suscessful in dealing with
his grumbling rejection of their assistance, stumbled and continued to
be unable to walk consistently, and bumbled as he lost ability to
recognize the danger of his circumstances. In spite of this, his
rescuers attempted CPR and to arrange medical emergency evacuation. It
didn't work. Life ain't fair. Not every ending is happy.

Let's at least reject the opportunity to twist known facts about this
tragedy to rant against slackpacking and cell phones. A very
experienced through hiker died on the trail in adverse conditions, even
with persistant attempts of would be rescuers. It could (and probably
will) happen to any one of us. Personally, I pray to avoid making such
a frustrating experience for others or the inconvenience of carrying
out my body and gear - but none of us have such guarantees.


--- Jim Mayer <jmayer@rochester.rr.com> wrote:
> Any chance we could drop this topic?  As most of us on this list
> know, one one of the first things to go in hypothermia cases is our
> ability to think strait... sometimes people even take off their
> clothes!...

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