*Poor Planning*
By: Terry
31 March 2008

12 yrs ago or so, I lived in the Cariboo Mountains in Southern British Columbia, Canada. At the time my everyday ride was a 1978 ford bronco, lifted with large mud tires, no winch of course.

A friend came up for a visit from Vancouver, a spur of the moment hunting trip was planned. At the time my boy was 8, daughter was 4, nephew was 9, my friend was mid 50s, I myself was 28 or so. My mother was visiting my sister, we called her granny, the kids were given the choice, want to go hunting or stay with granny and drink tea, kids wanted to go hunting so away we went.

The general plan was to stop at the general store pick up a few things for the sister, go road hunting til dark and be back by 9:30 pm or so. Away we went, picked up eggs,butter,bread, cheese, and a big bag of peanuts, some juice boxes and chips for the kids.

First mistake, we never told anyone where we were going.

Second mistake, I had installed a cb radio in my truck about a week earlier, wired it wrong. Pop went the fuse, and I had no spare fuses ...but I had some tin foil. Tried that, pop went the cb, so no commo.

Anyway, we were off, 20 km down the highway then east into the bush, then another 35 km out, way way out. As we were driving down the power line we came to a logging road, having been in that area many times before I knew of a good moose meadow. Beavers had flooded the road earlier that summer. As we pulled up close to the dam, I told my pal to jump out and lock in his hub, as I locked in the drivers side. Then I mentioned that "This could get a little rough, as earlier this summer I had almost gotten stuck on my quad up here".

The kids started fighting. I had them tighten their seat belts etc, and away we went, there was only 6 inches of water across the road, about 50 yards long, I put the peddle to the floor and started across the mud and water.

While the kids were fighting, I forgot to shift into 4 hi, the truck was soon stuck up to the running boards. I tried 4 hi and 4 low, things went from bad to worse, there we were, stuck bad.

We packed the kids out to dry ground, then our guns, then I searched the truck for survival gear, besides the groceries I had a big bowie knife, 1 sleeping bag, a gallon of drinking water and thats about it.

We decided to walk out down the power line, when we reached the power line I knew it was 35 km to the highway the way we had came. I beleved we would be closer to a ranch if we went the other way, so we started walking. We walked for 2 1/2 hrs, no ranch, daughter tired, we took turns carrying her, also we had a pack with the groceries water and the tray from my small tool box.

Looking up at the sun I figgured we had about 30-40 minutes of daylight left, decision time... keep walking or get set up for the night.

We found a wide spot on the road, I used my bowie knife to cut a mountain of branches and made a large bed right on the road, then we dragged in all the dead fall we could, built a good sized fire, and then the kids were hungry. I had brought the tray from my tool box, we cleaned it out with grass and water, I broke one side of the carrying handle off the tray and cooked grilled cheese sandwiches for the whole group, the best I have ever eaten.

Then I put all 3 kids into our only sleeping bag, and we settled down to sleep. My friend took first watch, 2hrs, then I did 2 hrs, then the daughter peed in the sleeping bag, the boys were horified.

We dried the bag over the fire, the boys refused to sleep with a bed wetter, so I laid down by the fire, lifted up my hunting pants and coat and laid my daughter on my belly/leggs, zipped up my coat and settled in for the night.

Morning came early we toasted bread, and cooked the eggs in the ashes of the fire. We walked for about an hour and came to a ranch, they put on a big feed but were in no hurry to get us out to town, and no phone either. We waited patiently, turns out it was my girl friends aunt and uncle, we arived at the general store about 11:00 am, there were about 50 family and friends gathered, the search party so to speak.

So hanging my head in shame and scuffing my toe away we went to retreve my truck, it took 3 trucks with winches to get my truck out.

For several years after, when I asked the kids to go hunting they all wanted to stay with granny and drink tea. Life lesson learned, let folks know where your going, have enough food, gear for everyone in the vehicle for a week, and dont leave home with out working commo. As a side note, I still have that Black Jack Annaconda Bowie knife, and have never been on a trip anywhere since without it.

Go forth and do unlikewise.

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