Thursday, February 18, 2010

Amazing Survival Story or Need for Preparedness?

It is always difficult to criticize as an armchair quarterback but the only way others learn sometimes is by example.

This story on Fox News 2-18-10 about a fellow named Jason Pede on a business trip stranded 73 hours on a snowpacked Colorado road because of a wrong turn or bad directions is a good example. We are relieved he made it out alive....let us use his example to help others.

Some background:
Pede was operating a Lincoln Navigator - A large SUV with plenty of room. He was a professional driver by trade. He was admittedly out of shape and only had high sugar content soda and sugar wafers in his car for food. He was given directions on the road that may have been wrong and his GPS may have provided incorrect directions as well.

Pede was 7 miles away from any assistance when he became stranded and no one knew where he was. His wife lost contact with him as his cell phone battery may have died out or was out of range or both. He got his truck stuck in hood high snow when he tried to turn around.
His decision to not walk out (ok decision actually) was because Mr. Pede was out of shape (not a good decision). He managed to make fire "during the day"which melted his truck panels.

He "survived" by drinking Mountain Dew and eating Sugar Wafers until he ran out of gas for his truck. He then decided to walk out to seek help. Was he lucky?

As we have repeated here for 5 years....knowledge in an emergency is critical. More so than high tech gear.

He admitted now if he knew to only run his vehicle 10 minutes per hour to stay warm he would have conserved fuel and could have stayed in the truck.

Ok. What might YOU have done differently?
Some of these items below may have been in play already. We have detailed these in a training memo last year which is on the website.....

Some suggestions:
Notified someone (wife in this case) of your new route via cell phone.
Mark Route on paper so contact knows it - and so rescuers can start an effective search
Carried at least one emergency evacuation/survival kit on board.
Flares/Lithium Powered LED FlashLights or Headlamps
Spare Batteries/Chargers
Aerial Flares/Rescue Strobe Light (Marine or Military- not toy versions)
Survival Food for 3 days - minimum
Water 2 1/2 gals - not sugar loaded soft drinks
First Aid Kit
Alternate Heat/Cooking Gear - Alcohol Based OK
Survival Candles - Long Duration High Density - Can be used for Cooking /Heat
Sleeping Bag or Mylar Reflective Blankets - 1 per occupant
Parachute Cord
Survival Knife
Spare Warm Clothing Appropriate for Inclement Weather - Hats/Gloves
Portable Shelter (aka Tent/Tarp)
Tire Chains as required by State Law in many instances
Road Map
Firearm for Protection if licensed
Been in Better Physical Condition
Don't rely on your phone as your only survival tool.
Left an emergency survival manual in this large vehicle.
This would have been an actual bonified good opportunity for using OnStar (GM still knocks those of us who can't afford it and are personally prepared using ICE)

We will add more as we go forward...... He could have stayed put with this gear.

Jason has commented below....and makes a great point! If you have two cars (or more) all cars should be equipped with some basic essentials for survival.


  1. You're info is great and I love your insight. Yes, I do know how to prepare. My car is stocked with all the wife's is not. Unfortunately, we had traded vehicles. It is ALWAYS important to stock up with food and drinks when traveling in inclimate areas. I do know better, but funds were low and I was afraid to swipe my debit card. However, I did talk to my wife within 60 miles of taking this route, but I did not tell her what highway I was on. It is very important to take the proper steps whenever driving through unfamiliar territory. Good luck to all!

    - Jason Pede

  2. Thank you Jason we were hoping you would comment here so others would hopefully benefit from your experience!!


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