Here’s How Easy It Is To Die In The Wilderness


Too easy. Because Mother Nature will kill you the first chance she gets!

Are you wondering why these allegations about the primary resource for the whole humanity?

Read the following article to see how easy is to die in the wilderness if you are not prepared to face and resist Mother Nature’s challenges.

Last month, 62 year Miyuki Harwood was in good shape for her age. But that didn’t matter much when she felt the rocks move and slide from under her feet on the mountain side trail she was hiking on in the unforgiving Sierra Nevada wilderness.

Her fall wasn’t really far by adventurous standards. Only around six or eight feet down the slope. But the next thing she knew she was upside down, dizzy, and immobilized with mind exploding excruciating pain in her badly compound fractured leg… For some reason she had separated from her fellow hikers all participating in an extended trail trip organized by the Sierra Club and was alone when she fell.

This was her first mistake. But there were other serious ones. She laid there in agony without moving for at least two days but then her prayers were answered just in time to prevent imminent death by dehydration.

She somehow heard the sound of water coming from further down the ravine, and with intrepid courage she willed herself to drag her battered body inch by painful inch to the water source. The good thing was that she didn’t have to make an effort to boil or purify the stream water because she had one of those small straw filters on her and used that.

Then she laid there, weak and hungry, and due to dangerous mountain flying conditions from clouds and smoke from a nearby forest fire, search aircraft never spotted her.

Once more she was miraculously granted a reprieve on her death sentence with the help of a two dollar survival whistle which she managed to sound loud enough to attract search party hikers in the distance.

She was in bad shape when they finally reached her more than a week after she disappeared. And the search party leader said that someone injured that seriously without proper supplies doesn’t usually make it for as long as she lasted, unless rescued immediately.

Miyuki Harwood was fortunate. On the Eastern side of the continent during the same month in Vancouver Canada, 69 year old Sylvia Apps, also an even more experienced backwoods hiker, with good wilderness map and compass navigational skills, was not so lucky. She was not found for over two weeks and the exhaustive search was called off after finding only her scattered backpack, but no trace of Sylvia. Nobody wants to say it, but large bears and other predators are all over the area in the summer time.

But these incidents are far from rare and unusual. In fact they are way too common these days. What do these two experienced hikers and so many others constantly do wrong? Is it really that dangerous to go camping and hiking in the back woods and mountains?

What are we missing here?

Mother Nature’s Dirty Little Secret

Mother Nature is a self-confessed serial killer. But why would she want you dead? Isn’t she supposed to represent all that is wonderful about the outdoors and wildlife and the beauty of our existence on Earth?

Well, that may have been the Divine plan a long time ago, before old Satan snaked into the Garden of Eden and messed it up enough for God to evict the humans who couldn’t understand simple instructions. Then he let the garden become a wilderness, overgrown with monster foliage and rocks and pests and inclement weather, bad enough to forever remind the sinners of their terminal indiscretions.

When He put Mother Nature in charge, it wasn’t necessarily to protect the humans from the elements of Nature; it was to protect Nature from the abuse by the wasteful obsessive compulsive consumption from out of control people.

As time evolved, the human species and the wilderness grew and spread, and people learned, for the most part, how to respect nature a little more and even exist in peaceful harmony and mutual beneficial integration to some extent.

But eventually the weak and selfish humans managed to persist in their apathetic narcissistic rituals to continuously defile the planet without any concern for self-sustaining philosophy and protection of the natural habitat. They continued to avariciously rape and pillage the land so Mother Nature is just defending herself.

Here are the main ways she’ll do it, and how your complacency and ignorance will actually assist in your own “suicide” by “natural causes‘.

  1. Dangerous Terrain

AppalachianWhen the U.S. government was closing in on UBL in the ‘badlands’ of Afghanistan/Pakistan, it was deeply entrenched in mountainous terrain so rough and impassible that even highly trained special forces troops couldn’t negotiate it to any useful approach.

There are similar and even more formidable wilderness areas in America’s deep forest and mountain areas which to this day no modern humans have likely set foot due to sheer magnitude of the greatly inhospitable terrains.

It’s not easy to describe intensely rugged back woods and mountains when comparing to more user friendly forests such as in the Midwest areas. You have to experience the difference, for several hours to appreciate what I mean when I say that what you don’t know about very serious terrain will definitely kill you.

Don’t think you can come right off your regular municipal Park Forest preserves jogging trail right into Appalachian back woods and act like there’s no difference. Even the so-called user friendly established trails of foot hills are highly dangerous.

The term “terrain” itself is deceiving. Your local Park Forest preserves is technically terrain. And the Washington State foothills and vast back woods wilderness is just euphemistically described as rugged or dense terrain. But they are far more than that. Areas like this stretch throughout the country from coast to coast, many only a stone’s throw from modern municipalities.

So the first thing that can injure you and/or get you lost, is the severe, unfamiliar terrain. Which ranges from vast deserts of virtually nothing but endless sand and rocks as far as the eye can see to deep backwoods and hills, so dense and thick and confusing that you can walk for merely a hundred yards and immediately get turned around and lost, and drifting in circles until you drop, without practiced navigational skills land equipment.

All these areas are nothing less than traps waiting for the unsuspecting “human flies” to be captured, tortured, and killed.

The second or third reason serious wilderness is so bad is because of how difficult is to move around, tripping and stumbling over never ending obstacles.

It’s so hard to travel over if you get detoured off a road or foot trail, that it then becomes only a matter of a short time before you get lost, fall down in critical condition, exhausted and exposed to all sorts of bad things, then deceased and put on the menu for midnight scavenger dining, and never to be seen again.

  1. Dangerous Animals, Insects, and Poisonous Plants

No need to go into extensive listing detail here. There are plenty of resources to search and read about some evening if you want to scare yourself awake until dawn. If you went down in a plane crash landing in the middle of the African, Asian, or South American jungles and survived it uninjured, you’ll likely still die in a few hours of exposure of the third kind, even though it’s a balmy 80 degrees temperature even at night.

If the deadly slithering snakes and poisonous creepy crawlers don’t kill you, and you managed to avoid other things you thought existed only in science fiction horror moviesthe blowflies will eventually get you. Instead of biting you in the standard painful way, they are like mosquitoes.

You don’t know you’ve been bitten until you feel the itching and the little bump on your skin, only it won’t be just a little bump. It will be the size of a golf ball because the larva is now growing under your skin and eating you alive.

As you scratch and bleed, releasing the chomping larva, which will then seek other orifices to crawl into while your blood scent will attract clouds of more blowflies, and you will soon be unrecognizable, even to the vultures and scavengers watching you patiently right before you die.

Even in the Southern U.S., especially the backwoods swamps and wetlands, there are insects, animal predators, and plants that are potentially a deadly threat within a 100 foot radius of virtually anywhere you walk. It’s not by coincidence that a substantial amount of missing persons reports might include the notation that they like to go on long walks in the back woods areas.

The denizens of the wilderness have no mercy. And don’t even get me started on Big Foots and Squatches.

  1. Deadly Weather Conditions

Again, it’s not necessary here to reiterate what you know almost every time you see one of the numerous news reports on rescuing victims. Invariably weather was a co-conspirator. And virtually everybody, despite seemingly being the No.1 topic around the water cooler, is “clueless in Cleveland” when it comes to weather. Everybody always says “…it looks like a nice day for a day trip into the national park, I think I’ll hop into the car with my mountain bike and go enjoy it on some wilderness trail!”

They never seem to care that weather as little as 10 miles away can be completely different once they get there. It happens especially in hills near the base of mountain ranges on the coast, where even on real roads, flash floods, severe micro bursts, and mud and rock slides and avalanches and ‘what not’ will take you out in the blink of a blinded eye.

A week ago travelers along a road in the Utah/Arizona canyon country failed to even heed a direct warnings about the potential of heavy flash flood producing rains along their travel route, and at least 9 people including children were killed when their vehicles were washed away by rapidly overwhelming flood water. They chose to take a chance. After all, it started out being such a nice day. It was the last chance for some of them. 

  1. Mother Nature Assisted Suicide

teepee It’s bad enough to take a serious risk by venturing where you shouldn’t be going unless you are a trained survivalist or rescue person, but to be totally ill prepared–like most victims are–is like tossing yourself naked on the wilderness sacrificial altar.

The primary danger of the elements of nature is its opposition to the personal comfort and health of your skin and bones. Finding yourself in a wilderness predicament where you are also exposed to everything the Old Girl can throw in the first place at you, is not conductive to survival.

Most preppers know that water is not the 1st primary necessity in the immediate survival emergency situation as former mythology implied. You can have all the food and water you need, but if  you are not secured from the elements and predators, it might not matter.

And you can go a couple days without water, longer without food, but NOT even a couple hours in open exposure to severe weather conditions without shelter/warmth.

Just as a sidebar rule reminder, it’s safety/shelter first, then security (weapons/tools), then water, then food.

When they find the remains of missing campers or hikers the usual determination of death will include the word exposure. Whether it was heat stroke or hypothermia, or predator attack, the rudimentary precaution of creating a secure shelter a.s.a.p. was not a factor in their survival attempt and became their primary fatal mistake.

The irony here is compared to that famous old sailor saying “water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink”. The wilderness usually provides enough material for a basic viable trail adventure, IF you have good survival training skills and know what you are doing. But besides that, there is absolutely no excuse for not ALWAYS having one or two of those small cheap weightless pocket reflective Mylar Space Blankets on you when going anywhere at all outside the immediate breast of civilization.


They can be used as a rain cover, a rain catcher, or a solar still. I also have a larger sleeping bag version and one man “tube pup tent” made out of the same stuff that is folded no larger than a paperback book in my BOB.

In the wild, due to sometimes drastically fluctuating temperatures from daytime to night in many areas, it is imperative to immediately stay warm. And if it becomes cold and rainy at night, building a fire might not be that easy, especially if you are not skilled at it.

As you see, there are a lot of factors that you need to consider before taking on your next wilderness adventure. It’s up to you if you want to be safe, have a good time and get back home just with the memories or you want a shot at “fame” and have your name on the first page of the local newspaper in the “Remembering” section.

Interested in how to improve you medical survival skills? CLICK HERE to find out!

This article has been written by Mahatma Muhjesbude for Survivopedia.

About Mahatma Muhjesbude

Mahatma Muhjesbude is a former Spec-ops combat Vet, LEO, international security consultant, and private contractor. He has instructor level credentials and skills in various survival disciplines. He is a dedicated advocate of Liberty and Justice for all and a proactive defender of our Constitutional rights. He strongly believes that the best value you can give back in life is vital knowledge through experience, and that’s why he’s writing for Survivopedia, using a pen name to protect his real identity. You can send Mahatma a message at editor [at]

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