Hiker Missing For 10 Days Is Found Alive

Occasionally we hear stories of individuals getting lost in the wilderness, which can be quite dire. Positive news is rare in these situations, but a hiker in California received just that.

Lukas McClish, 34, disappeared during a three-hour walk in Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Boulder Creek on June 11. He was missing for 10 days in the remote California mountains.

Great news! Lukas has been located and not only that, he managed to endure 10 days in the wild. He is currently sharing his survival story and how he managed to stay alive in such a secluded location.

Lukas, being an experienced hiker, decided to explore the area for granite outcroppings without informing anyone of his whereabouts. He anticipated a short trip, so he didn’t even bring a shirt with him.

He hadn’t been gone for too long when he got lost, turning the whole journey into a disaster. It wasn’t until five days later that his family reached out to anyone about their son’s disappearance, as they were unaware he was missing. When he didn’t show up for a Father’s Day meal, they realized something was wrong.

Lukas didn’t bring a lot of supplies since he was only planning to be away for a brief period. He mentioned, “I packed a pair of pants, my hiking shoes, and a hat. I also had a flashlight and a pair of folding scissors, similar to a Leatherman tool – and that was pretty much all I had.”

1. He is actually an experienced hiker and also does landscaping in the forest after a wildfire. To be honest, he was quite surprised at how quickly he got lost.

He went missing for five days because he didn’t inform anyone of his whereabouts. It took another five days to locate him in the wilderness.

Lukas managed to endure without food or water by drinking water from the creek using his boot and eating wild berries. He mentioned, “I made sure to drink a gallon of water daily, but as time went on, my body started craving food and sustenance.”

During the night, he rested on the damp leaves and due to lack of food, he shed around 30 pounds during the 10 days he was gone. He even encountered a mountain lion once and experienced hypothermia. While scaling a rock wall, he unfortunately slipped and tumbled down.

He kept yelling “Help, help, I’m here!” out of desperation for two days until he was finally discovered. At that time, there were 300 Rangers searching for him.

A sniffer dog and drones were needed to locate him. After being brought to the hospital, he only needed to spend one night there before being reunited with his family.

Reflecting on it, he came to the realization that he became disoriented very fast due to the fact that the location where he was hiking had been destroyed in 2020 by the CZU Lightning Complex fire. He mentioned that it appeared entirely distinct from any other landscape.

He continued, “I didn’t think about this one aspect – when the fire sweeps through and destroys everything, it transforms into a desert and you can’t figure out where you are.”

Normally, he would have followed deer paths to navigate through the wilderness, but they had all disappeared due to the fire. As a result, he had to depend on his survival expertise, which he honed through frequent backpacking trips.

The initial evening, he attempted to start a fire and set up camp, but the damp conditions made it impossible. Consequently, he decided to trek across the canyon in search of more suitable shelter. Additionally, he was on the lookout for a stream that he believed was in the vicinity.

I went hiking every day. I climbed up and down canyons, visited waterfalls, and even drank water from my boot.

I was always relaxed whenever I was outdoors. It didn’t bother me.

A mountain lion followed me, but it was okay. It stayed far away. I believe it was just someone looking out for me.

On the fifth day, he believed he would reach the ocean if he continued to follow the sun, even though he wasn’t sure how far away he was from it.

Diane, his mother, mentioned that trusting God that he would be okay was difficult some nights. She worried about where he was, where he was sleeping, how cold he was, and if he was alive when they went to bed.

He is eager to go hiking again, even though many would have given up by now. He mentioned that he has already done enough hiking for the rest of the year.

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