Five wet and cold female hikers were rescued off the Appalachian Trail on Wednesday morning after calling 911 for help.
“The hikers had a sleeping bag and a two-person tent with them. When they called for help, Willis said the sleeping bag was the only item they had that was dry. They said they were unable to get a fire started and couldn’t find any water, said Willis, who described them as novice hikers.”
While it’s obviously a good thing that no permanent harm was done to anyone, we have to examine what happened here. Did the existence of the cell phone offer a false sense of security? Did nobody check the weather?
The relative ease of access to the Appalachian Trail (or any of the backcountry locations on the East Coast) makes this sort of thing more likely.
Ultimately, rescuers had to head out in 50mph winds, at night, in the snow, to save the hikers. This isn’t responsible. Plan ahead and prepare!