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My BK-16 saved my life...

Discussion in 'Becker Knife & Tool' started by TheWambo, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. TheWambo


    Apr 21, 2012
    Saturday afternoon me and a friend of mine went out deer scouting in some new territory near the college I go to in the Adirondacks (The Santa Clara wilderness area for those interested). Things were going well until we deiced to start to head back in to the truck. We started heading to where we thought the road was (we were probably only 3 or four miles out and we still had about two hours of sunlight left). We ended up going Northwest when we should have been heading Southeast, and as it got darker we of course panicked and picked up the pace. Where we ended up having to stop for the night was a quintessential Adirondack wetland.

    As we were planing a short afternoon trek I only packed water for myself, a emergency tarp (tarp like emergency blanket), a magnesium/ferro bar and my BK-16. My friend only had his 20 ga. shotgun and a light hunting jacket. I used my 16 to cut some swamp grass and make a rushed bed for us to lay on to keep us off the wet moss, with the emergency tarp over us we tried to get some sleep. It was just above freezing, with strong winds and a light rain. At dawn we were both starting to display advanced stages of hypothermia.

    We got our blood flowing and headed to the nearest treeline. Our clothes were completely soaked (we broke the golden rule, I was wearing carhart pants and my buddy was wearing jeans) so we tried to split out some dry wood to get a fire going, my friend only had his small skinning knife so I split up some decent sized branches and got some dryish wood. We cut open a 20 ga. shell took the powder mixed in some magnesium shavings and lit it up with some grass I kept dry in my jacket pocket. Soon we had a decent fire going and dried out a bit.

    We figured out our navigational error and started backtracking to familiar ground. after 9 miles of trudging through: bog, willow thicket, Tamarack, Black Spruce, and new growth white pine clusters on dryer ground, we found the trail back, and made it back to the truck.

    After a little more than 24 hours in the wild, unprepared, we were both hypothermic dehydrated and exhausted. I attribute our survival to our combined wilderness skills, mental toughness, and the tools we had at hand.

    If I had not had my Becker with me I would have been unable to make the life saving survival shelter for the night or the fire that warded off the final stages of hypothermia. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Ethan Becker and Ka-Bar for producing a quality tool that I could rely on in this time of great need, without it I would likely not be here today. And to all the people who taught me survival skills over the years, they helped me keep a clear head and self rescue.

    That buisness aside I also have some sweet pictures from my camera that was completely soaked and still somehow works :D

    My 16 that I stripped just prior to us heading out (was planing on doing a strip thread when I got back but plans changed quickly)

    A mushroom growing out of Black Knot on a Black Cherry

    Views from the point we were at just before we started to get lost





    Almost Out! (also where I figured out my camera still worked wasn't to concerned with it when we were freezing half to death)

    Moose Tracks (I think)

    What was a freshly stripped 16 before it took the ultimate test
  2. LG&M


    Dec 19, 2005
    Very glad you made it out. A good knife and a little common sense can go a long way.
  3. TheWambo


    Apr 21, 2012
    Thanks, I'm a little worse for wear (still recovering from the hypo and the dehydration) but that'll pass with some good food, room temp water and rest. And a very true statement :thumbup:
  4. fuzzwuzz133


    May 30, 2012
    Woah, this is actually one of my worst fears. Getting lost in the woods in the winter with inadequate gear. . .Thank god you made it out alive.
  5. averageiowaguy


    Mar 22, 2011
    Grats on walking out!
  6. TheWambo


    Apr 21, 2012
    Thanks, I'm just glad it was a little warmer than it has been here, it was below freezing last weekend
  7. TheWambo


    Apr 21, 2012
    Best part of the worst experience of my life :D
  8. tincansurvival


    Feb 8, 2012
    Glad to hear all is well. You did get some good pics though...
  9. cf1969

    cf1969 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 24, 2011
    Glad it all worked out Wam. Way to keep a cool head in a serious situation. Kudos brother.
  10. Uncle Malice

    Uncle Malice

    May 13, 2012
    Glad to hear you made it through, and glad the 16 helped with that.

    I'm a little curious why you didn't, or at least try to, start a fire before you guys laid down to try and sleep? Keeping a small fire close by would have done wonders to help make it through the tough night.

    Definitely a story for the grandkids someday! :)
  11. TheWambo


    Apr 21, 2012
    Thanks, and we were in a field of dead grass and It wasn't raining until about an hour after nightfall, we didn't want to risk it getting out of control, plus by the time we wanted to try everything was pretty wet and nearest fuel wood was a half mile walk through a bog at night. But If we ended up having to stay another night we would have started one.
  12. jblough


    Sep 17, 2012

    I am glad that you were able to gt out of that scrape ok..

    One question- did you have any maps and or a compass?
  13. TheWambo


    Apr 21, 2012
    Crisis strikes the unprepared, we had a compass but no map of the area, we were planing on scouting elsewhere but there were people already in there so we went to a new area. There were a lot of things that factored into us getting into the spot we did, most of which I usually plan against (map, extra water, extra warms, etc.) Just goes to show that the one day you aren't prepared for anything you are faced with everything. Doubt I'll go into the woods anytime soon with less than a weeks worth of supplies :D, I learned a very dangerous lesson the hard way.
  14. CamH_16


    Feb 5, 2012
    Glad you are ok now man :).
  15. Saymon


    Jun 18, 2012
    Glad it all ended well! I got lost twice in the Amazon jungle and my BK2 made ​​all the difference ... survive with a becker is easier!
  16. Paws


    Oct 9, 2010
    Geeezus, so glad to hear y'all made it okay. What an experience. Way to keep a cool head and work together. I bet you could use this to impart some wisdom.
  17. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    I bet next time your buddy brings his own survival tarp!
  18. TheWambo


    Apr 21, 2012
    I hope he does, its a little hard to fit two grown men under a 4x6 tarp to say the least
  19. bsmith_shoot


    Jun 6, 2012
    I know its a horrible experience, but in the end, I bet you wouldnt take nothing for the knowledge it gave you. You said you were under-prepared, but honestly, think of the thousands of people that make treks like you did, every day. I guarantee you were far more prepared than the vast majority of them.
    Great job on using your head, and the tools you had at hand! Great story for all of us to learn from.
  20. TheWambo


    Apr 21, 2012
    Thank you, and I hope somebody can learn from this so It doesn't happen to them (although most of the people on BF are pretty survival minded)

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