He was stranded in the mountains of northern California. Check the comments

We sometimes hear about people who are lost in the wilderness and when that happens, it is often very grim. We don’t often hear good news in this regard, but good news is exactly what we got for a hiker in California.

34-year-old Lukas McClish was taking a three-hour walk through the Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Boulder Creek. It was on June 11 but unfortunately, he went missing and remained missing for 10 days in the remote California mountains.

This is where the good news comes in, Lukas was not only found, but he was able to survive 10 days in the wilderness. He is now revealing how he was able to survive so long in such a remote area.

Lukas is experienced at hiking so he went to look for some granite outcroppings in the area but he didn’t tell anyone where he was going. He thought he would only be gone for a few hours so he didn’t even take a shirt with him.

He wasn’t out very long before he got lost and the entire trip became disastrous. It took five days before his family contacted anyone about their missing son because they didn’t know he was missing. When he didn’t turn up for a Father’s Day lunch, they knew there was trouble.

 

Unfortunately, Lukas did not take many supplies with him because he was only going to be gone for a short amount of time. He said: “I left with a pair of pants, and my hiking shoes and a hat. I had a flashlight and a pair of folding scissors, like a Leatherman tool – and that was about it.”

The good news is that he is an experienced hiker and he does landscaping in the forest after a wildfire. Quite honestly, he was surprised when he got lost so quickly.

Since he didn’t tell anyone where he was going, nobody knew he was missing until five days later. It took an additional five days to find him in the wild.

Lukas said he was able to survive all of that time without food or water supplies because he drank water from the creek from his boot and ate wild berries. He said: “I just made sure I drank a gallon of water every day, but then after, getting close to the end of it, my body needed food and some kind of sustenance.”

At night, he slept on the wet leaves and since he didn’t have enough food he lost about 30 pounds over the 10 days he was missing. He was also followed by a mountain lion at one time and suffered from hypothermia. When he was climbing on a rock face, he slipped and fell.

After becoming desperate, he just continued to shout “Help, help, I’m over here” for two days until someone found him. There were 300 Rangers looking for him at the time.

It took a sniffer dog and drones to find him. He was then taken to the hospital but he only had to stay for one night and then he was reunited with his family.

Looking back, he realized that he got lost so quickly because the area where he was hiking had been razed in 2020 during the CZU Lightning Complex fire. He said it looked completely different from all of the other terrain.

He went on to say: “That’s one thing I didn’t take into consideration – when the fire comes through like that and decimates it, it turns into the desert and you’re unable to find your bearings.”

Typically, he would’ve used deer trails for hiking past to find his way but all of them were gone because of the blaze. He then had to rely on his survival skills, and he was able to do so because he backpacked regularly.

On the first night, he tried to build a fire and a camp but it was too wet so he hiked across the canyon to find better shelter. He also was looking for a stream that he thought was nearby.

“So I just kind of hiked. Each day I go up a canyon, down a canyon, to the next waterfall, drank water out of my boot.

“I felt comfortable every time I was out there. I wasn’t worried about it.

“I had a mountain lion that was following me, but it was cool. It kept its distance. I think it was just somebody watching over me.”

By day five, he was thinking he would eventually find the ocean if he just kept following the sun but he didn’t know how far from the ocean he was.

 

His mother, Diane, said: “Some nights, although I just had to trust God that he was going to be OK – and that was hard to do some nights, when we would go to bed at night, because I would worry about where he was, where he was sleeping, how cold he was and where he was if he was alive.”

Most people would be ready to quit hiking after this but he is looking forward to it again. Then again, he said he did enough hiking for the rest of the year.

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