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Lost 14 kg and drank from a shoe: experienced tourist who went missing in the mountains for 10 days shares how he managed to survive

Anna BoklajukNews
Big Basin Redwoods State Park, where the tourist got lost

A 34-year-old traveler who went on a three-hour hike and disappeared in the remote mountains of California was found alive ten days later. He survived by drinking water from his boot and eating wild berries.

The hiker went on a walk on June 11 to visit some rare granite outcrops at Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Boulder Creek. He had only a few things with him and didn't tell anyone where he was going because he planned to be back by evening. He didn't even wear a shirt, MailOnline reports.

"I went in my pants, my hiking shoes and a hat. I had a flashlight and a pair of scissors and that was about it," McClish said.

Lost 14 kg and drank from a shoe: experienced tourist who went missing in the mountains for 10 days shares how he managed to survive

Lucas is an experienced hiker who is reforesting forests destroyed by wildfires. He was surprised to find himself lost, and his parents raised the alarm when he didn't show up for Father's Day dinner on June 16, five days after he set off.

Before he was rescued on June 20, he spent nine nights and 10 days wandering through the desert, drinking water from a stream with his boot, eating wild berries, and sleeping on wet leaves.

During his journey, McClish lost about 14 kg.

One day a mountain lion started following him, and the situation worsened on the eighth day when he came down with hypothermia and slipped while climbing a rock. Eventually, a pair of rangers who were among the nearly 300 people searching for him heard his cries for help. They raised a drone, and he was quickly found with the help of a service dog. And amazingly, he only needed one night in the hospital before he could return home to his family.

Lost 14 kg and drank from a shoe: experienced tourist who went missing in the mountains for 10 days shares how he managed to survive

The area in which he got lost was destroyed in a fire in 2020, and according to Lucas, it looked completely different.

"That's one thing I didn't take into account: when a fire comes through like that and destroys everything, the area turns into a desert and you can't get your bearings," the traveler explained.

Typical markers to indicate direction, such as deer tracks or hiking trails, have disappeared. But at first, McClish saw his predicament as a chance to test his survival skills, "I'm an avid hiker, so for me to go out for a night or two is within the norm."

On that first cold night, McClish tried to set up camp, but the brush he used to make a fire was wet. He then crossed the canyon to find better shelter, and the next day he set out to find a stream he thought was nearby.

"So I just kept walking. Every day I would go up the canyon, down the canyon, to the next waterfall, drinking water from my boot. When I was there, I felt comfortable, I didn't care. A mountain lion was following me, but it was cool. He kept his distance," Lucas shared his impressions.

Already on the fifth day, McClish began to worry and tried to find a way back to civilization.

"I knew that if I kept following the sun, I would eventually get to the ocean, but I didn't know how far I was from the ocean," he said.

Lost 14 kg and drank from a shoe: experienced tourist who went missing in the mountains for 10 days shares how he managed to survive

Meanwhile, his family raised the alarm when he failed to show up for Father's Day and filed a missing persons report. This triggered a massive search involving nearly 300 people and emergency workers from several agencies.

His mother, Diane McClish, said, "I just had to trust God that he was going to be OK, and that was hard to do some nights when we would go to bed at night because I would worry about where he was, where he was sleeping and how cold he was."

As the search continued, McClish began to cry out for help when he became hypothermic and slipped while walking over a rock, "Help, help, I'm here," he recalls shouting over and over again on the eighth and ninth days. At the same time, McClish said he was constantly dreaming of food as he was forced to survive on wild berries.

"I wanted a burrito or a taco. That's what I thought about every day," he said.

Finally, at about 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, two park rangers were walking up the hill and heard McClish screaming. Then the Boulder Creek Fire Department launched a drone and spotted him, and a dog tracked the hiker.

Only verified information is available on OBOZ.UA Telegram channel and Viber. Do not fall for fakes!

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