My Wake-up Call
Before I got heavily involved in this world of preparedness I was about as helpless as one could be. I mean sure I’m “handy” and can fix things, but the fine details and knowledge of what it really takes to survive completely eluded me.
I’ll never forget the experience that first lit my fire about why being prepared and ready for anything is so important…
My wife (Fiancee at the time) and I wanted to go on a drive through the Utah mountains one Friday evening in early October.
It was a nice temperate day about 65 degrees in the Valley so we were wearing t-shirts and I had on shorts but my Fiancee was wearing jeans.
No jackets, gloves, hats, or anything like that cause of course this was just a short mountain drive for a couple hours and we’d be in a climate controlled vehicle so nothing to worry about...
After about an hour of driving we were midway up one of the main canyons when we decided to do a bit of exploring down some of the smaller connecting canyons…
I never knew how much deeper into the mountains these smaller canyons went but this particular canyon led us over 10 miles in until it stopped at a trailhead where a few hikers’ vehicles were parked.
We were a bit cooped up after almost 2 hours of being in the car so we decided to take a little hike to stretch our legs and explore.
As we ascended the trail several groups were coming down and we thought nothing of it at the time.
After about 30 mins of hiking the light was starting to fade so we decided to head back down.
Well it just so happened that those groups we passed on the way up were the last hikers so my truck was the only vehicle left in the parking lot.
No big deal, until the moment I went to start and Click… then nothing. All power was gone…
Didn’t even try to start or anything, all power just went away.
I felt fine at first as my Dad had taught me a decent bit about auto mechanics, so I started seeing what I could see was wrong.
We quickly realized how unprepared we truly were…
Back then the “smartest” phone was a flip phone with a color screen that could record horrible resolution videos…
And being 10 miles into an offshoot canyon in Utah’s Rocky Mountains… needless to say, I didn’t have any cell service.
On top of that, of course I didn’t have a flashlight, food, blankets, or anything that would have helped the situation…
By now the sun had been down for over an hour and the temperatures had dropped by at least 20 degrees…
The Cold reality
We discussed the option of walking back to the main canyon where there was likely to be passing vehicles because it was unlikely anyone would be coming down this canyon until the next morning.
That thought quickly passed as a few sprinkles of rain started hitting our windshield and we became aware of the winds picking up and all signs of a bigger storm coming.
In Utah it’s very possible to have overnight Snow in the mountains, so being in shorts and a T-Shirt I didn’t favor the idea of walking 10 miles to try and get help.
Luckily this particular situation ended with no harm coming to either of us.
We were able to get a few hours of uncomfortable sleep while cold and hungry but as soon as the sun came up several vehicles of Hikers were at the trailhead.
They gave us a ride back to where we had cell service and we were able to get help from family to get home.
But that night while laying there wide awake in absolute darkness I realized that this could have been so much worse and that I was totally unprepared and uneducated on how to handle myself.
Since then I’ve always thought of worst case scenarios and made sure to bring my 72 hour kit or at the very least the bare essentials to get through a night comfortably if something were to happen again.