Survivalist TV saves teen’s life in Maine winter

Missing teen skier found alive near Sugarloaf, built snow cave to survive

I am really relieved at the outcome of this two night survival story.  This 17 year old boy amazed the authorities by surviving two nights on the side of Sugarloaf Mountain in 20 degree temperatures, along with 8 inches of fresh snow,  freezing rain, and at times with a visibility of only 30 feet. The young man was found at the base of Sugarloaf  off the Caribou Pond Road, where he constructed a shelter  of branches and drank water from snow and Carrabasset Stream.  This is an area familiar to Appalachian Trail backpackers.  Nick Joy told authorities that he learned the techniques that saw him live through what normally kills people here in Maine from watching survival shows on television.

Nick Joy, of Medford, MA

Nick Joy, of Medford, MA

Joy eventually heard a snowmobile coming up the trail,  climbed out of the shelter, walk over, hopped on and was taken out in decent shape.
This outcome drives home the point that one needs to be prepared when going out to the Maine wilderness.  I strongly encourage those of us (including myself) to take along a charged cell phone, and now a lighter, on day trips into the deep forest,  although it is questionable whether Joy would have had reception down that low in the valley.
I’m confient that if Joy had a means to spark a fire, he would have done so,  and the rescue would not have been such a big deal for the hundred plus Navy Seals, border patrol agents, wardens, and mountain rescue individuals who looked for Nick.
I feel a bit less guilty about lying on the couch Monday night as I watched Les Stroud (Survivorman) instruct me on how to build such a shelter, along with what not to do- wander around, get wet, and succumb to hypothermia.

About tjamrog

I'm sixty-seven and live in the Maine woods. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2007, the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010, Vermont's Long Trail in 2011, and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013 . I am outdoors every day. I offer guided backpacking trips and classes in Maine, through "Uncle Tom's Guided Adventures".
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2 Responses to Survivalist TV saves teen’s life in Maine winter

  1. Rockdawg69 says:

    Smart young man. First rule when lost or can’t get out is to stay put! Shelter, fire, water in that order. Don’t know if he ever was in Scouting but he learned the basics that we teach. A smart Scout is a happy Scout – Be Prepared!!!

    Like

  2. Uncle Tom says:

    Rockdawg,
    I agree. It’s a powerful story about a level- headed young man. Would like to hear more about his own description of what he went through.

    Like

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