Remember the story about the trio of "hikers" from Gaffney, South Carolina, who foolishly ventured into near-blizzard conditions along the Appalachian Trail on January 2, 2014, from their starting point at Fontana Dam in North Carolina?
In an episode that is more reminiscent of a Saturday Night Live skit or a scene from a Cheech and Chong movie, these "hikers" supposedly spent weeks preparing for a ten-day stint on the Trail, then neglected to bring a tent or essential cold-weather gear.
According to news reports, more than $8,300 was spent by Great Smoky Mountains National Park to unstrand the three stranded "hikers" who put their lives in danger, in addition to endangering the lives of those on search and rescue teams.
In addition to the cost of getting to the "hikers" and supplying them with the gear they should have had before embarking on their unexcellent adventure, a helicopter was dispatched to airlift the "hikers" to a hospital in Asheville.
People make mistakes. Weather changes. No one can foresee all contingencies.
Perhaps someday there will be some sort of sliding scale where money spent to rescue people like these "hikers" can be recouped. Those who must be rescued through no fault of their own would not have to repay the cost of helping them. Those who must be sought and delivered due to their own lack of preparation would foot the entire bill.
Tags: Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Hiking Gear, Camping Gear, News, Accidents, and Robert Sutherland Travel Writer
It might not be winter where you are but it's winter at Maine's Baxter State Park, home to Mt. Katahdin, where two ill-equipped men went for a foolish hike.
Published Dec 2, 2013.
Patrick Burnes, 59, of Buford, Georgia, was was rescued from the Appalachian Trail in Maine on Wednesday, July 6, 2016, after he broke his ankle.
The valiant search for Gerry Largay continues on and around the Appalachian Trail in Maine.