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squeezebox
11-21-2017, 20:21
What have you ever done to help an injured hiker?
a couple of years ago I started a flip-flop. Several days in I was standing above Penn Marr and the rock tipped and I fell about 4 feet and tore my rotator cuff. I got up and over but could not carry my pack. So I called and asked to find someone to help me hike out. 911 was willing to send a full team, nothing less. So I finally set up camp for the night. The next morning as I was striking camp 3 day hikers came by on a day hike from Pen Mar to Harpers Ferry. Still could not handle my pack with only 1 arm. 1 person carried my pack another carried his pack. the 3rd hiked behind me. Up to the parking lot in short order. Took a while to get to town and the hospital for Xrays. It took about 9 months for the shoulder to heal. It's good now. Maybe those 3 know who they are and I will thank then again.
Has any sort of such thing happened to you? injured or rescue .
Thanks ever so much!!

bigcranky
11-21-2017, 21:03
Yup. Roan Mountain area a few years ago, October. Coming up from the Barn sobo it's a very long climb back to the balds. We met a young guy out for a nobo weekend hike with friends. He had stopped and could not continue because he was having some sort of heart issues. His friends had kept going (still not sure the full story on that). We carried his pack all the way up and over to the top. It must have weighed 65 pounds. He climbed slowly behind us. We left him at the top with his assurance he could get down -- and he emailed a few days later that he'd made it home. I appreciated his followup.

HooKooDooKu
11-21-2017, 21:12
I guess the most significant thing I've done was to call 911...
Back in the days when most everyone had a cell phones in their car, but it wasn't common for everyone to carry a phone elsewhere, I was mountain bike riding when a person in a group behind me had a major wipe out. Despite the fact the rider was wearing a helmet, he managed to have his head come down on a rock just below the helmet and he was convulsing. We were about 2 miles from the trailhead, and was fortunately all down hill... so much so that I had to keep my adrenaline in check and not speed TOO fast down the hill and crash myself in an attempt to reach my cell phone and call for help. It still took about an hour before help could arrive get him to the trail head. I don't know if it was the severity of his injuries or because of the amount of time had passed since his injury, but he was air lifted from the state park to the hospital.

Interestingly enough, the next night, I was having dinner with a sister who asked if I had heard anything about a cyclist that had been injured the day before in the park because they had prayed for him in her church that morning. I guess he eventually recovered because I never got anymore updates from my sister.

Beyond that, there have been several times where I've come to the aid of an injured hiker or bicyclist with the 1st aid kit I always carry with me in the back country.

Megapixel
11-21-2017, 21:34
What have you ever done to help an injured hiker?
a couple of years ago I started a flip-flop. Several days in I was standing above Penn Marr and the rock tipped and I fell about 4 feet and tore my rotator cuff. I got up and over but could not carry my pack. So I called and asked to find someone to help me hike out. 911 was willing to send a full team, nothing less. So I finally set up camp for the night. The next morning as I was striking camp 3 day hikers came by on a day hike from Pen Mar to Harpers Ferry. Still could not handle my pack with only 1 arm. 1 person carried my pack another carried his pack. the 3rd hiked behind me. Up to the parking lot in short order. Took a while to get to town and the hospital for Xrays. It took about 9 months for the shoulder to heal. It's good now. Maybe those 3 know who they are and I will thank then again.
Has any sort of such thing happened to you? injured or rescue .
Thanks ever so much!!


Last year in July a hiker was on the Hunt Trail at Katahdin in a bad way. My wife and I encountered him on our way down about 2 miles from KSC. His legs werenít working properly, and he exhibited classic signs of severe dehydration. His partner said he would be fine, but the young man responded very differently. After a few questions we found out they had no water, no food, and were very in prepared and over exerted. We gave him as much of our water as he could take in, ibuprofen, but unfortunately no food... we had eaten our rations for the day at the summit. We advised him to sit, stretch, give the ibuprofen a bit to kick in, and continue his way down if he could. In the meantime we made our way down and alereted the rangers.

In 2011 Sobo The Powell Brothers and I were in the Chairbacks in ME and another friend and SObo hiker Birches had his mom out for a few days joining him. She had done too big of miles 2 days in a row and got locked up legs and couldnít get down to the shelter. Birches came sprinting down the mountain yelling for help at near dark. The Powell Brothers went up to help and i went down to a cabin to seek even more help. We got her to the shelter and we got a ranger to help extract her from the woods first thing in the morning as she was still unable to hike out on her own.

Angle
11-21-2017, 22:51
I got my trail name Iceman from a 12 yr. girl who was thru hiking with her father. She had fallen and broken her arm and I showed up at the trailhead as she came out of the woods with plenty of ice for her arm and her favorite cold soda. In 2015 I was doing the section between Gorham and Grafton Notch with a friend and he dislocated his shoulder about 3/4 of the way through the Mahoosuc Notch. We made it to Bull Branch campsite for the night and the next morning in the rain I carried our packs up the Arm and down a side trail to a forest road.

Tipi Walter
11-21-2017, 23:40
How about helping my injured dog? He had a stroke while I was out on a 9 day backpacking trip and had to carry him out---50 lb dog with 70 lb pack---but worth every minute of it.
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At Brookshire Creek crossing in Upper Bald River wilderness, 2010.

GoldenBear
11-21-2017, 23:56
I was day-hiking along a heavily-used trail in the Palm Desert area. In front of me I saw a youngster running along this trail, who slipped and fell, scraping his leg in the process. I introduced myself as trained in Red Cross first aid (which I am), asked if I could assist him, and then used the first aid stuff I always carry, to clean out the wound and bandage the scrape. When his mother arrived a couple minutes later, I got permission to continue, something that the training said I should always do. My assistance lasted less than ten minutes, but it WAS helping an injured hiker.

Tundracamper
11-22-2017, 07:48
Three of us where on the AT when one of us became very ill. He could barely walk and was vomiting. I remembered seeing a feeder trail just before this all happened. So, the other buddy basically jogged 6-7 miles with his pack to the car while I carried the sick guy's pack, along with mine, the two miles up and down to the road. We all arrived within about ten minutes of each other. After a stay in a hotel and emergency room, we have a story.

chknfngrs
11-22-2017, 08:23
years ago encountered two very tired and very thirsty looking older hikers out near Swatara Gap. They were looking for a spring to fill up but of course there was none and getting visibly frustrated. I offered my Nalgene full of water and at first declined but with my insistence obliged. Later that night my brother passed out from blowing too much on the fire and he miraculously fell backward onto the soft pitch and didn’t hit his head.

Hatchet_1697
11-22-2017, 09:39
My cousin had a medevac off the AT via Uber driver :). First Iíve ever heard of. We were on day two of a NOBO hike in PA, it was still early so the dew was still covering everything and the dirt wet from rains. We had just walked across a couple flat fields and there was a rooty step down to Valley Rd, my cousinís foot slipped, caught a root,
then his ankle rolled hard at the worse time (fully body + pack weight on it) and he was done. Unbelievably this happened at a road crossing 200í from an AT parking area that had cell service. I helped him to the parking lot, his son carried his pack and requested an Uber. Surprisingly they had Uber service in the area and there was a driver working that Sun morning so off to the hospital we went. Tendon didnít tear but he had 3 hairline fractures where it/they attach and was done for the season ER staff said he was lucky, most times ppl try to hike out after an injury and really mess themselves up. We were fortunate that time, so I now carry an InReach Explorer.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

Tipi Walter
11-22-2017, 10:01
years ago encountered two very tired and very thirsty looking older hikers out near Swatara Gap. They were looking for a spring to fill up but of course there was none and getting visibly frustrated. I offered my Nalgene full of water and at first declined but with my insistence obliged. Later that night my brother passed out from blowing too much on the fire and he miraculously fell backward onto the soft pitch and didnít hit his head.

Your post reminds me of camping in a 5,000 foot NC mountain gap in late October during a typical mountain rainstorm (some sleet) and being comfortably ensconced inside my tent. A large group of backpackers were camped nearby and they packed up in the terrible weather and booked it off the mountain 3,000 down to lower ground. EXCEPT two of their members decided they had enough and wanted to bail on their own---new territory for them---and so they passed by my tent on their arduous rugged journey off Four Mile Ridge for a 6 mile trek back to their car---and a drop of 2,000 feet.

Three hours later they were back in my Gap and came calling to my tent. They yelled out something and I opened the tent door and stuck my head out and we talked. It was a pitiful sight---One guy had on some pvc-type raingear and it was shredded in long strips like banana peels hanging off his body. The two were butt cold and soaked in the October 35F rain. They got lost going off the mountain and bushwacked for several hours looking for the trail and then came back up. I know exactly where they made their wrong turn.

One guy begged me to tell him how to get to the closest road or how to get the heck out of the woods but I wasn't gonna let Their epic become My epic. I told them I'd lead them out in the morning. Anyway it was late in the day and they were shaking from hypothermia so I told them to set up their tents fast (I helped) and save their escape for the next day. We got the tents up and they pulled out of their soaked clothing---one guy's bag was completely soaked---so I advised them to double up in one tent and use the one good bag for both of them.

They made it thru the cold night---checked on them periodically---and in the morning we all packed up and booked it the 6 miles to their car. They were so very happy. One of them asked me what I wanted in return and I joked, "Oh, about $100,000, thank you". Ha ha. Instead I looked at my hiking dog beloved Shunka and I said "Give me all your meat!!" and they dug in their packs and pulled out some chicken packs and sausage which I immediately fed to my dog. He was smiling.

Everything ended well. No disparaging remarks or snobbish judgments from me. They did well. Here's some pics of the guys coming off the mountain with me behind---

41028
Descending the rugged trail.

41029
A short reststop.

41030
Safe at least in Big Fat Gap, NC.

MORAL OF THE STORY? Never separate your group!!!!!!!!

chknfngrs
11-22-2017, 12:02
Tipi them fellers look peaced.

nsherry61
11-23-2017, 14:16
Hmm.

Assisted (along with my climbing partner) a group of 4 men down off the top of Mt Jefferson in Oregon years ago that had no business being up there. No injuries, but, they were scared to death of the exposure and didn't have the skill set to get down safely on their own.

Hauled a dead body off of the same Mt. Jefferson as part of a Mountain Rescue opperation, but that doesn't exactly count as helping another hiker.

Helped a man down from the South Sister in Oregon a few years ago. It was nearing the end of the day and the man could barely take a step from what I am guessing was mild altitude sickness and severe nausea and dehydration. When we passed him on the way up he was struggling and refusing to accept my suggestion that he needed to get food in him that his body would digest instead of high protein and fatty food along with high concentration sugar drinks. He and his wife were convinced they were doing everything right by eating jerky and nuts and drinking power-aide while vomiting it all back up again. . . Finally, on the way back down, as his wife begged us discretely not to leave them on the mountain, I gave them some Hammer Gel and suggest to eat the gel and sip on water giving his body time to calm down and get a little energy back. He recovered surprisingly rapidly after that and managed to make it down (at least off the summit cone) without further assistance from us.

I've helped out on numerous occasions with minor injuries and mechanical issues associated with crashes and mishaps mountain biking, but, nothing of special note. . . I'm probably responsible for encouraging behavior that lead to more than a couple of those noted minor mishaps.

I commonly help people figure out where they are on the trail when they are lost . . . much more common that I would think is sensible.

Years ago in boy scouts, one of our party had a tick crawl up and attach in his urethra and he couldn't go to the bathroom. We tried for quite a while to get the tick out, then helped him to the trail-head where he was taken to the hospital where the problem was resolved with no permanent damage.

But ultimately, to the OP's intent, I can't really think of any significant injuries that I have been in a position to stop and help with, likely partly because I until recently moving to the Northeast, I am rarely in areas where I run into other people in the back country.

theoilman
11-23-2017, 21:47
A few years ago, NOBO to NOC, I stepped on a loose rock, turned my ankle all the way over and it threw me down the hill. Sprained really badly! I hiked by myself about a mile to the shelter just south of NOC where there were several already there. They helped check it out, and we decided it probably couldn't walk on it in the morning, the best thing was to get down to NOC that evening. One carried my pack, another helped me down. Got back home the next day, had it xrayed, confirmed not broken, it was months to heal.

Another time, coming down SOBO from Rocky Top, met a couple who had been out for a day hike/picnic. She had fallen and twisted an ankle. I had an ace bandage, helped her get it wrapped and 'vit B'. They went on, able to get off the mountain.

So, yes, I have experienced both sides of help/assistance.

gracebowen
11-24-2017, 00:20
What is Vit b ?

dudeijuststarted
11-24-2017, 01:04
I was getting ready to set up camp on the trail SOBO off of Kinsman. It was nearly full dark and I heard a voice say "hello." Turned around and saw no one. Freaked me out. Walked a few feet and the person came into view. Hobbling along with a clearly heavy pack. He explained that he had sprained or broken his ankle and was heading to his car at Beaver Brook. He thought it was only 45 minutes out, when in fact it was about 4 hours. I offered to carry his pack but he refused so I didn't bother him about it. But I did insist that we stay within distance of each other until I was sure he was out safely. I'd walk ahead of him a few hundred feet and turn around periodically so he could see my headlamp and i could see his. We got to the parking lot several hours later. He was very grateful and I was glad to be of use to someone else on the trail. A lawyer from Boston, he drove a Mercedes and gave me a ride to a motel so I could get a good night's sleep. I learned something good about myself that night. After my hike, I took Wilderness First Aid as I enjoyed the experience so much.

colorado_rob
11-24-2017, 10:36
I've been on both sides of this...

High on a Pike's Peak climb many winters ago (Pike's is a generally safe winter climb) I slipped on a bit of ice on a nearly flat section and went down like a sack of potatoes and broke a couple ribs on a rock. HAve you ever broken a rib? Just about the most painful thing I've ever felt. I vomited all over the place is was so painful. Yikes. Here I am about 12 miles and 6000 vertical feet up from the trailhead in December at 4pm, getting dark, and I can barely move. Thankfully I was not alone! My pal had some Vicodin and gave me a couple tabs, 20 minutes later I was able to hike again, 4 hours later we're back at the trailhead, just about when the drug wore off.

Since then I've always carried some vicodin on all of my hikes! (I have recurring back issues so generally have some unused tablets sitting around and my doc says they are good for years. No, I'm not an opioid addict. As a side comment, apparently percoset is a bad drug to take in bitter cold, it can make one more likely to get hypothermic. vicadin is apparently OK in the cold).

Since I've been hiking and climbing for about 50 years, I've had numerous situations for helping folks out, two spring to mind...

Maybe 5 years ago on our annual January Mt. Elbert overnight/climb, we arrived at where we make our treeline camp, nearly 12,000', and saw a guy wandering around in a stupor, barely able to talk, obviously a case of hypothermia and perhaps low blood sugar. I had an extra dry base layer shirt and had not needed my down parka yet, so we managed to first get some quick-energy gels in him and got him out of his wet layers, redressed him including my jacket, and he seemed to recover quickly. Two others in our party (of maybe 10-12) sucked it up and hiked him down the 2000 vertical feet to the trailhead, then hiked back up with my jacket. I truly think our party saved this guy's life that evening. He was alone, high on a CO 14er in bitter cold, nearly dark, basically unable to function. If our party had not happened along, he would have been a sad addition to a statistic.

This year on the AT in early March (I'm repeating the AT for my wife's benefit), just a bit past the GA/NC border, maybe 12-15 miles or so north of Hiawasee, we arrived at a shelter in falling snow and rapidly dropping temps. We made a quick camp (in warm, cozy tents, not the shelter) and bedded down for the long, cold night. Turns out it got down to about 5 degrees F that night. We were fine, barely, but when we got up there was a party of three in the shelter who were NOT fine. A teenage girl and her grandparents were is a bit of a pickle. They were just not prepared for this unusually cold weather and fresh 8 inches or so of snow. The poor young girls feet were numb. As with lots of folks, she just had trail runners and fairly thin socks. Knowing that we were in for a spat of bitter cold, in Hiawasee my wife had stocked up on a bunch of toe warmers and hand warmers! Those things are amazing. This girl put on fresh socks (which she thankfully had) with the toe warmers, managed to get her frozen shoes back on, and in about a half hour was feeling much better, at least now able to walk But the pickle was not over. These folks needed to get back into a town and warm up. The two grandparents were OK, but not great. It was way too far to hike to a town either forward or backward along the AT.

(see attached pic of my wife at GA/NC border.... looking kinda gnarly for March 14th...)

Thankfully another guy at the shelter had a detailed map of the area, and it turns out there was a side trail close to the shelter that led down to the Standing Indian campground. We (we had a party of 4) didn't think it would be OK to leave these folks to their own devices, and decided to hike to the Standing Indian CG with them. So we did. It was something like a 4-5 mile detour. The actual CG was closed, but by pure luck, we met a guy walking his dog there (from outside the gate) who was able to give them a ride into town. Problem solved! We really felt good doing this for these folks.

Numerous other stories, but I've rambled quite enough.

Another Kevin
11-24-2017, 14:48
I try not to boast, since I really do no more than any other hiker, and a lot less than some.

There was a brief period in my youth when I was an S&R volunteer. On the typical activation, the missing kid or old person turned up before I could even drive to the trailhead. I think the most I ever did that looked like 'real action' was to help tote a guy with a broken leg off of Moosilauke. Weather didn't let them try to chopper him off, so it was strap him in a Stokes and get him down the Snapper Trail to the Ravine Lodge. I've always felt bad that my service was so brief. I surely didn't make up for the effort the rest of the crew put in on training me.

Joining the group was at least partly a 'pay it forward' move. I'd been helped earlier by a lot of people when I needed to evacuate after trashing a knee in a fall on Smarts. One of them was a thru-hiker who was racing the snow to Katahdin. I was aware that he might have been giving up his chance on my account, but he wouldn't leave me to others until I was safely in a vehicle on my way to Hitchcock Hospital in Hanover. I never learnt his name or whether he made it.

Then I moved away from the North Woods, got tied up with a more demanding job, and life generally got in the way.

Since then, I've been a clueless weekender who does what he can. I've helped, and been helped by, several more people over the years.

Some of them are on this board, and I'm not naming names nor telling stories. But suffice it to say that I've toted other people's packs, put my Ace wrap on other people's joints, gotten dehydrated hikers to swallow their pride and my water, deployed some necessary medications, that sort of thing. No more than anyone else does when someone else has a spell of trouble Out There.

hoohyde
11-25-2017, 17:23
My second or third ever hike and first overnight hike for my first time hiking wife and we ran into two guys who appeared to be arguing at the summit. they were sitting at a nice camp site we wanted and they appeared to be ready to move on as they were thru hiking. We tried to figure out what they were arguing about but couldnt figure it out. After waiting 30 min or so we just set up camp at another spot. One of the guys left and the bigger guy stayed and just layed out on a rock for a while. Finally he meandered over to our sight and was making my wife feel uncomfortable as he creeped over. They guy was about 6' around 250lbs in shorts and tshirt. He said he was dehydrated and needed water and food bad. He said they had hiked the day before and he had no sleeping bag and nearly froze the night before (it hit mid 30's). I gave him as much water as i could and half of the banana my wife was eating. He thanked us, said that may have saved his life, and asked how to get to his next destination as we were on a spur trail right off the AT. He said he was arguing about what to do next as the only water was 4 miles sobo and his buddy was heading that way to get some for him and was going to come back. I guess the argument was he needed to stay put. After he ate and drank what we gave him he headed out sobo but we observed him and he was confused on which way to go as the spur trail and AT intersection. I told him to build a fire and stay put but he insisted to go. I gave him my map and wished him the best. Just to mention he was heading out at dusk to make matters worse.

I felt like i should have done more to make him stay and build a fire but it was creeping my wife out and I/we were newbies to the experience. I notifed a thru hiker who came by a few minutes later to be on the lookout as they were headed in the same direction.