Deep Survival: Brain Vs. Gadget

Headlamp

On a solo backpacking trip this winter, reader Nate Freund was stranded high on California’s Ontario Peak during a snowstorm. Read his story, then see Deep Survival author Laurence Gonzales’s analysis of the situation.

Submitted by Reader Nate Freund
After reading your article “Folk Wisdom” in National Geographic ADVENTURE [April 2008], I was inspired to write to the author whose concepts played a critical role in my survival.

On January 22, 2008, I set out for a solo backpacking trip to summit Ontario Peak of the Cucamonga Wilderness. I was rescued by Search and Rescue forces from the San Bernardino Mountains after a U.S. Air Force satellite detected my distress signal from my Personal Locator Beacon. It was the first successful rescue of this kind in California–one initiated from a legitimate activation of a personal EPIRP carried by a recreational hiker.

I had spent months staring into the snow-capped mountain range from the Claremont roads as I drove to school everyday. My third attempt to summit this season began on a clear Sunday morning. After hiking a mile above the city, I set up camp on top of Big Horn Peak. I woke up the next morning to see clouds covered everything below me.

Deep Survival: Brain Vs. Gadget

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