Hawaiian Shirt Ray shares how his Epic experience ended up:
The temperature inside the shelter was warmer than the outside temperature but was still very cold. I knew that I could not fall asleep so I set my alarm on my watch to go off every 30 minutes. To stay warm I did sit-ups and moved my legs and toes vigorously. At this point I knew that I would survive the night but I was going to be miserable. I knew that as the temperature dropped that I would start shivering uncontrollably and that I might lose toes to frostbite, but I would survive.
The Rescue Finally Came
As I laid in my shelter trying to keep warm I heard in the distance two snow mobiles. I did not want to immediately punch out of my shelter just in case they did not come close because I would then have to reseal myself in and I would lose the little heat that I had generated. To my relief they came right to my shelter and stopped in front of my ski poles. It was Search and Rescue and the Sheriff.
When I came out of my shelter they did not think I was the person they were looking for since I was still a functioning person and seemed to be fine. They asked me if I’m the person that needed to be rescued and after I gave them my name they were convinced I was the right guy. I have a feeling they were thinking they were on a body recovery mission and not on a real rescue mission. Once we were back to the start/finish line they made a comment that they have never had such an easy rescue.
The Bottom Line – Be Prepared, Always
My epic adventure could have turned out to have a really sad ending. Because I took the seriousness of the adventure event and Alec’s advice I was prepared and survived my epic ordeal. I saw other runners that took less than the minimum requirements set by Alec. If they would have gotten lost their Epic tale would have been of a recovery and not a rescue. If you are not educated on survival skills you should not even think about attempting The Trudge. If you are not willing to take the proper gear because it will weight you down and you are more concerned with “racing” you should not think about attempting The Trudge. Unfortunately I see people going into the wilderness unprepared all the time and my friends in Search and Rescue are the most frustrated with the people who are not prepared. Don’t be one of those unprepared people.