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Survival

18 Great Outdoor Stories From F&S Writers and Photographers

Everyone loves a story. But as outdoorsmen, we appreciate a good one more than...
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  • September 30, 2013

    Naked, But Not Afraid Enough

    By David E. Petzal

    "Naked and Afraid," which ran on the Discovery Channel this summer, was a major ratings success. If you're one of the 8 adult men in the U.S. who didn't watch at least one episode, the format was this: The show stranded a naked man and a naked woman in a remote s**thole for 21 days to see if they could tough it out with only one tool apiece (tool as in knife, or machete). Both people were previously screened for survival skills and given a rating on a scale of 1 to 10.

    The real attraction of the show was, of course, not to see whether somebody could light a fire in a rainstorm in the jungle with a bow drill, but whether you could see nasty bits. The answer was no. Discovery Channel pixeled out the nasty bits. You didn't see much more than you would on any public beach.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • September 30, 2013

    Deformed Wolf That Bit Minnesota Teen Had Brain Damage

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    By Ben Romans

    Test results confirm a grey wolf that bit 16-year old's Noah Graham's head while he was sleeping at a Northern Minnesota campground last August had severe deformities and brain damage, which were likely the reasons for the unusual attack.

    An article from the Star Tribune says a necropsy from the University of Minnesota showed the wolf was approximately 1 ½ years old, had a severe facial deformity, dental abnormalities, and brain damage caused by some type of infection. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources specialists said its condition likely made it less wary of humans, and since its stomach contents contained only fish spines and scales, it was likely in the campground searching for food. 

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • September 11, 2013

    Update: Man Lost in Andes Wanted for Sex Abuse Charges

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    By Ben Romans

    An article in the Washington Times says the good news story of 58-year old Raul Gomez Cincunegui, who was rescued Sunday after spending four months lost in the Andes Mountains, is turning sour after Chilean officials revealed the Uruguayan man is wanted for child sex abuse charges. [ Read Full Post ]

  • September 9, 2013

    Uruguayan Motorcyclist Survives Four Months Lost In The Andes

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    By Ben Romans

    Argentina authorities rescued a lost Uruguay man yesterday after he spent four months wandering the Andes, living off sugar, raisins, food from a cache in a mountain shelter, and trapped rats.

    According to the New York Daily News, 58-year old Raul Fernando Gomez Circunegui was riding a motorcycle across the Andes between Chile and Argentina when he went missing last May. Gomez says his bike broke and he tried to finish the trek on foot, but became disorientated by heavy snowfall.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • September 6, 2013

    Forest Service: Bowhunter Started California's Rim Fire

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    By Ben Romans

    Yesterday, the U.S. Forest Service announced they’re searching for a bowhunter responsible for starting an illegal campfire that eventually engulfed 371 square miles of forest in and around Yosemite National Park in one of California’s largest wildfires ever, the Rim Fire. [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 19, 2013

    Sometimes People Vanish

    By David E. Petzal

    On July 23, a 66-year-old woman from Tennessee, Geraldine Largay, was supposed to meet her husband at a point on the Appalachian Trail in Maine, and when she failed to make the rendezvous, he declared her missing. Largay was an experienced hiker and in good health, but she simply vanished. Despite an intensive search, which has just been scaled back, there is not a trace of her. Heart attack? Bear? Human monster? We don’t know and we may never know.

    The most notable wilderness disappearance was that of Congressman Hale Boggs, whose plane vanished in a remote part of Alaska in 1972, resulting in the most sustained and intensive rescue search in U.S. history. Not a trace was found. The plane, Hale Boggs, and his fellow passengers simply ceased to exist. [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 12, 2013

    Powerless at Sea: Stranded in Thick Nighttime Fog on a Dead Boat

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    By C.J. Chivers

    It should have been a routine family fishing trip—the author and his wife with three of their young children jigging for squid in familiar waters. But when the boat’s electrical system went dead, they were left stranded in a thick nighttime fog with no immediate certainty of how to get home.

    We were confident as we eased off the dock and headed down-channel, bound in the evening for Nebraska Shoals. We knew this trip would require caution, but trips to sea always do. The forecast predicted fog but otherwise contained little reason for concern. Seas were gentle, almost flat. It was mid May and a weeknight, which meant boat traffic would be light. The run out was familiar, a straight shot from the jetty that did not cross shipping lanes. And we considered ourselves well equipped. The boat was outfitted with radar, dual engines, dual GPS units, and dual radios, and stocked with a ditch bag ready for many of the common at-sea mishaps. 

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 11, 2013

    Angler Swims for 5 Hours in the Dark to Save Family Clinging to Capsized Fishing Boat

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    By Ben Romans

    After storm swamped a fishing boat carrying his family, John Riggs left the capsized craft and swam for five hours in the dark through schools of jellyfish to reach help.

    According to an article in USA Today, Riggs, his 70-year old father, his daughter and her 3 year-old son, and his visiting 9-year old granddaughter were fishing off the coast of  Maryland. The sea flipped the boat approximately two miles from shore, but changing tides carried it another five miles in another direction.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 11, 2013

    Survivorman Les Stroud: A Comic Book Hero?

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    By Ben Romans

    For several years, outdoor survival expert Les Stroud has been a one-man camera crew who filmed his multi-day jaunts into remote areas of the world. I’ve tuned in from time to time. The episodes are occasionally entertaining, and I often learn a thing or two.
     
    But would I go so far as to say Stroud’s skills make him a real-life superhero? Certainly not. However, the folks at Bluewater Productions disagree. So much so they’re willing to pit Stroud’s MacGyver-esque skills against wrongdoers in a new comic book series.
     
    In a press release, Bluewater said the first edition will follow Stroud in pursuit of an artifact and in the chase, he gets lost at sea, roughs it through the English countryside, and "shows an endless supply of rugged determination in his quest." [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 9, 2013

    U.S. Border Agency Loans Out Drones to Spot Fishing Violations

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    By Ben Romans


    Despite controversy surrounding the use of drones over U.S. territory, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency has increasingly loaned drones over the last three years for tasks like spotting fishing violations, missing person searches, and inspecting levees on the Mississippi River, according to The New York Times.

    Proponents of drones say the units are a valuable resource that provides an unmatched level of surveillance. But critics point out that monitoring individuals without probable cause or a warrant amounts to an invasion of privacy. [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 24, 2013

    Seven Ways to Build Fires Without a Match

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    Friction-Based Fire Making

    Rubbing two sticks together is likely the oldest of all -fire-starting techniques, and also the most difficult. Besides proper technique, you have to choose the right wood for the fireboard and spindle. Sets made from dry softwoods, including aspen, willow, cottonwood, and juniper, are preferred, although a spindle made from a slightly harder wood, combined with a softer fireboard, can also work. [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 24, 2013

    Test Your Fire-Building IQ

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    By Keith McCafferty

    Fire is the magic candle of the wilderness. Build fire and you keep the wolf of hypothermia at bay. It warms; it acts to soothe frayed nerves. It builds confidence, acts as a distress signal, and encourages you to stay in one place until help arrives. But how much do you really know about building and maintaining fire, beyond simply striking a match? Take this test to find out. [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 24, 2013

    Firestarting: The Best Natural Tinders

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    By T. Edward Nickens

    The first 10 seconds are the most critical for starting a fire, so make sure you know how to find the best natural tinders no matter where you hunt or fish. Here’s a pair of great fire starters provided by Mother Nature from each corner of the country.

    In The North:

    Tinder Fungus
    Look for bulbous blotches of blackish wood on live birch trees. The inside of the fungus is reddish-brown and easily catches a spark. [ Read Full Post ]

  • May 20, 2013

    Woman Clubs Bear with Shotgun, Saves Husband

    By CJ Lotz

    A Wisconsin man, realizing a 200-pound bear was about to attack his dog, ran outside and tried to scare the bear off, but the bear tackled him and sunk its teeth into his neck. When the man’s wife realized what was happening outside, she grabbed a shotgun, but didn’t know how to load it, so she ran outside and clubbed the bear over the head. Stunned, the bear fell away from the man long enough for the couple to run inside the cabin. Officials arrived shortly after and shot the bear. [ Read Full Post ]

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