“Acw Escape, part 1”.
What would you do? Challenge your wits in our escape scenarios. We Rate, review & discuss your answers.
Parking your vehicle on a logging trail in an Evergreen Forrest, you are looking for a great spot for a hike. You take your backpack and head out for an easy 3/4 mile ( approx) hike to a clearing you can see at the edge of a small river slightly below your current elevation that looks interesting. it is the Beginning of November, unknown weather forecast. You did not take a compass bearing before you went down to the clearing because it was so close and wouldn’t take long, easy as pie like you have done before many times.
To save weight you leave heavier supplies you would normally take on an overnight-er or longer exposition.
Nearing your Target area you see a curious nests in a larger tree closer to the waters edge. Maybe it’s a great chance to get eyes on a hawk, eagle or owl? Makes sense to hang out to see, so you take a comfortable seat on the opposite sided of the 60 to 75′ wide clearing. you find a decent rock as a backrest, drop your pack and probe your pack for a snack as you wait. You try to call a friend to see whats up for later in the day but there is no reception.
Your vehicle is somewhere to your 4 to 6 o’clock direction behind you, as a confident guess in your mind. The once or twice you turned around you assumed it’s position but looking back upwards, through the pine boughs and green peaks, it’s impossible to see far enough. Fuck it, No big deal.
A Windy light snow quickly and quietly moves through, nothing major but you are pretty experienced. You get up, zip up, secure and slide on your ruck sack. Before you head back up you walk to the opposite clearing for one close look at the Mystery nest from below. Hard to see much. Time to return to your vehicle and head out before the trails and roads get nasty so off you go, back past the other side of the clearing, and up the very slight gradient of the slope.
The sky is darkish and grey for the most part, the time now about 3:30. The snow is giving a beautiful frosty filter to nearby trees, any sunlight mixing through in patches gives a warm comforting effect, but reminds you without any sunlight it would be a less than awesome trip back.
After 20 minutes it becomes a full blow white out blizzard, 15 to 25 mph gusts, and almost completely dark. You decide to use your best guess at direction and continue another 30 minutes but to no avail. Temp is approx 30 to 35 deg f. as far as you can guess, Starting temp when you parked your vehicle was 41 degrees according to your dashboard readout.
Some snow pack was on the ground originally, maybe 2″ deep and sporadic. accumulation now is additional 3″ fresh fall. While navigating through and around some small saplings you slide down a 4′ slope at maybe a 30 deg slope, nothing crazy, but at the bottom your slide is slowly halted by a slushy patch under the snowfall that messes up your footing and sends you down to the side of your ass for the last 3 feet into about 18” of water. Probably the edge of a beaver pond or marshy overflow of the small river.
Your left side up to your ribs is completely soaked, your right side to the thigh. You can’t be too far off the logging trail? your vehicle must be very close…
- Please reply as to what action you personally would take to make it out. Feel free to include your own skills and actions following the pause in this scenario. There is no one correct answer in most cases, and try not to nit-pick the scenario or start new threads. We will later take the comments and thoughts and our own matrix to give a closing pros and cons on actions, rate the serious players in likely-hood of success, and or close the story or add additional conditions. O.K. Have at it and get Drinkin, er Thinkin’… ( for acw team members we also have a free clue: check out the fine print if you can find it in your Acw field manual…).
Environment / Surroundings :
Common alpine Forrest. November, present day, low 30’s degrees F. Northern US / southern Canadian type zone. Mid day, partly cloudy, 2” semi hard snow pack over 50% of ground, wind calmish. Ground cover, some hardwood varieties, semi rocky, mostly mature and young evergreens.
This exact moment :
On your side with your lower body wet. No injuries. on hands and knees looking Above to about 4’ is the top of small embankment where you slid from. Snow falling and blizzard conditions, 3 to 5’’ total snow coverage, dark skies just before sunset ( guessing 4:15 to 4:30 time), semi open area with sparse trees and flat ground beyond in the direction you were sliding, flat ground with very random incline on all other sides. Some visible rock formations all directions. 50 minutes currently into your exit back to your vehicle. visibility 10 to 20′ average.
Personal State :
Current Condition :
Current personal condition is good health and energy, normal hydration, fair spirits, wet on left side past hip, right side to thigh. Footwear 80% water saturation. ( if you wear w.p. shoes, than your total foot /sock water saturation is less than 30% on right foot and 60% left ).
Wearing your normal good hiking shoes, insulated, long underwear, blended material socks, jeans, t-shirt ( cotton), long sleeve thermal (poly cotton), synthetic hoody sweatshirt, nylon belt, wallet ( whatever you normally carry), cell phone with 80% charge ( no signal before), knit hat.
Ruck sack contents: 1 bottle of drinking water ( 12 oz. ), Flashlight, bag of trail mix, gloves, 2 small zip ties, small set of binoculars, extra cotton t-shirt, leatherman multi tool, Ziploc bag with emergency contents ( magnesium fire starter, reg book of 18 remaining waterproof matches, whistle, 3 .22 caliber cartridges, 2 sheets waterproof paper 3” x 4”, pencil with eraser, compass, pain pills)
Threats / Misc :
Your current threat is with the elements. You’re wet and disoriented due to the weather/visibility. You don’t remember if you told anyone where you were going exactly.
ADDITIONAL SCENARIO CHANGES BY ACW :