Author Topic: Women survives 50 days on melted snow  (Read 3107 times)

Offline Rand McNally

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Women survives 50 days on melted snow
« on: May 08, 2011, 07:46:43 AM »
I did not know where to put this, but I figured it was a case of a lady survivor so here was as good a place as any.

The short story is Canadian couple on their to Vegas get suck on a back road.  THe guy gets out to look for help, he has not been found. The women stays with the car and lives off the food they were carrying and melted snow water.  She loses ~30 lbs in the almost 50 days until her rescue.

Maybe the moral of the story is that it is often times better to stay put than go wandering off.   

edit: fixed link
« Last Edit: October 25, 2011, 02:59:19 PM by Archer »

Offline Oil Lady

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Re: Women survives 50 days on melted snow
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2011, 08:56:50 AM »
Fifty days = 7 weeks plus one more day.

A very healthy human can survive 6 to 8 weeks without food before starving to death. (but we can only go about 4 days without water before dehydrating to death). Sounds like she had maybe a day's worth (at best!) of food in the car, so perhaps she went a "mere" 48 days without food. That means she was well within sight of the brink of death. If she avoided strenuous activity she would lose weight slowly. She also remained in the shelter of the van where it was probably warm in the daytime, provided it was sunny out. (I fear for how cold she was at night.) She must have a very strong heart and lungs because a lot of people her age would have succumbed to a heart attack or a respiratory infection. She's 56 yeas old. She must be a real trooper, and physically active.

She had to go out and pee at least twice a day (otherwise she was peeing on herself and in the van - never a good thing!). I'm sure she ran out of Kleenex and Handi-wipes after less than a week for her toileting needs. I'm glad neither wolves nor bears nor coyotes got to her at any time she had to make the no-less-than 2 trips per day out of the van as she went out for drinks of snow and answering calls of nature.

The article says she lost 30 pounds, and the article further says she believed she was only a few days from death before the two hunters found her in the van. She must have been a skeleton.

The hunters who appraoched the van must have realized the van LOOKED like it had been stuck for a long time. I imagine a stuck vehicle has a particular "look" to it --wheels distrubingly deep in the mud, trash on the ground around a particular door or two, fallen tree branches resting against the vehicle, tree litter and bird droppings all over the windshield, the ground all trampled with hundreds of footprints at entry and exit points for certain doors, maybe even a flat tire or two.

Her poor husband! Do any of the hunters here at TSP know if its possible they will find his remains? Or will the animals have gotte every last bit of him? (I know it's a horrible thing to think about, but for the family to at least KNOW his fate will lend closure.)

I was driving alone in the back country of Vermont last week and Google maps took me on a muddy mountain road with no one around for miles. I was lucky that the sun had been shining very hard for two days prior to my road trip because the two or three very small patches of mud I had to drive through would have otherwise been monster lakes of mud. I was so leery of going back over the mountain again that I took a longer route back home again later in the day (in the rain).

You just never know with those non-paved mountain roads, especially in March and April. And if this Canadia couple had been driving a van, I doubt it had much traction. (I was driving my 4-cylender Pontiac Grand Am -- not exacty a 4-wheeling kind of a car).

Offline Halyna

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Re: Women survives 50 days on melted snow
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2011, 02:03:17 PM »
My dad would tell me stories how when he was a boy in Ukraine during the 1933 artificial famine (briefly, that is, Stalin confiscated all food from all Ukrainians to feed his army, millions died), my dad told me how he would drink snow and underneath yank out any grasses that might be there. He'd chew trees until they became so soft he could swallow it. 
The only thing they would not eat are their shoes, because they knew they'd then die.

It's absolutely amazing how some people survive such conditions we cannot even imagine (and I bitch about the price of bread these days-shame on me).