Hiker Found After 10 Days In California Mountains Shares Harrowing Details About Surviving In The Wild

What 34-year-old hiker Lukas McClish thought would be a three-hour hike in the Northern California wilderness turned into a harrowing ordeal as he became lost and spent ten days pushing his body to the limit.

McClish revealed how he survived in the Santa Cruz mountains until his cries for help directed a drone to his location.

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On June 11, McClish set off with only a few belongings for what he hoped would be a relaxing hike.

“I left with just a pair of my pants and my pair of hiking shoes and a hat,” the 34-year-old told ABC News. “I had a flashlight and a pair of folding scissors, like a Leatherman tool, and that was about it.”

Lukas McClish, the hiker who was stranded for ten days in the mountains of Santa Cruz, California, has shared details about his survival in the wilderness

Image credits: scanpix

The man became lost after realizing that the landmarks he relied on had been destroyed by wildfires.

His family reported him missing five days later, on June 16, when he failed to attend a Father’s Day dinner, at which point a search began, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. That day, authorities circulated a bulletin calling McClish a “missing person at risk.”

McClish lost 30 pounds (13 kilos) over the ten days he was stranded. He was able to stay alive by using his shoe to collect water from streams and waterfalls. He drank a gallon of water every day and ate wild berries. 

On June 11, McClish left his home with a hat, a flashlight, and a pair of folding scissors, expecting to go on a relaxing three-hour hike

Image credits: Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office

While McClish relied on the only source of water that was available to him, it should be noted that water in a stream, river, or lake can be filled with bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can result in waterborne diseases despite looking clean, the National Parks Service warns.

“Getting close to the end of it, my body needed food,” he said.

The avid hiker even survived an encounter with a mountain lion.

The 34-year-old was found on June 22 after several witnesses heard his cries for help, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a statement

Image credits: Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office

Image credits: CAL FIRE CZU San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit

“I felt comfortable the whole time I was out there,” he told CNN. “I had a mountain lion that was following me, but it was cool. He kept his distance. I think it was somebody watching over me.”

His mother, on the other hand, was far more concerned and struggled to sleep from her home in Boulder Creek.

“Some nights, I just had to trust God that he was going to be OK, and that was hard to do,” Diane told KSBW-TV News of Salinas

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“Some nights we would go to bed [late] because I would worry about where he was, where he was sleeping and how cold he was and where he was if he was alive.”

McClish became lost after realizing that the landmarks he relied on had been destroyed by wildfires

Image credits: CAL FIRE CZU San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit

McClish slept on a bed of wet leaves while he yelled for help and longed for a more substantial meal.

“Just, ‘Help, help. I’m over here.’ Or, ‘Is anybody out there? I want a burrito and a taco bowl.’ That’s what I thought about every day after the first five days when I started to kind of realize that I might be in over my head,” the rescued man explained.

On the afternoon of June 22, several witnesses finally heard his cries for help. Authorities used a drone to determine his exact location. A state park’s police dog tracked him down, and he was escorted out of a remote canyon.

The hiker said he lost 30 pounds (13 kilos) over the ten days he was lost, relying on water from streams and wild berries to stay alive

Image credits: ABC News

Image credits: ABC News

Dozens of law enforcement officers and first responders from the Boulder Creek Fire Department, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, state parks, and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reportedly assisted in the search.

“This truly was a team effort with the best outcome we could have hoped for,” the Sheriff’s Office wrote in a statement posted on Facebook.

Images of the rescue show the emotional moment the hiker was reunited with his family.

“I’ve done enough hiking for probably the rest of the year,” McClish said

“I met a lot of people because I had more people come to me and tell me how much they love my son and how they just hoped we would find him. I didn’t realize that so many people in this town love Luke,” said the mother.

Authorities confirmed that McClish suffered no major injuries.

When asked whether he would resume his hobby after his experience in the mountains, the man responded, “I’ve done enough hiking for probably the rest of the year.”

People were quite surprised by McClish’s survival story

The post Hiker Found After 10 Days In California Mountains Shares Harrowing Details About Surviving In The Wild first appeared on Bored Panda.
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