Canadian geocachers rescue stranded camper in remote woods

Sunday, September 24th was supposed to be a normal weekend of geocaching with friends for mr-toye and tinytrailstwo. Little did they know that by the end of the day they would save someone’s life. Here is their story.

Nippissing, Ontario EMS and NBFS making the rescue
Nippissing, Ontario EMS and NBFS making the rescue

David (tinytrailstwo) and I (Michael/mr-toye/) woke bright and early to grab an FTF, locate a previous DNF, complete a cemetery Multi-Cache, and log some trackables. You know, a typical weekend day of caching. As we headed to our next cache fate intervened. Another geocaching friend called and needed help, so we turned around, headed back home, and helped our friend. From there we decided to detour from our original course and instead went to look for Skye’s Stone (GC5850R).

Michael (mr-toye) and David (tinytrailstwo)
Michael (mr-toye) and David (tinytrailstwo)

This particular cache is in a remote area and is only accessible with a formidable 2-kilometer hike around a lake. When we arrived at ground zero, we searched for at least half an hour with no luck. We begrudgingly gave up. But while walking away, I decided to head over to the lookout I’d seen many times from the highway but never gotten close to. Good thing I did.

As we approached the lookout, a faint sound became clearer. It was someone calling for help. We continued shouting back and forth, following his voice until we found a man lying beside his tent and gear. His name was Robert. He had fallen two days earlier and couldn’t feel his legs. His cell phone had died and no one knew where he was. He was extremely dehydrated, disoriented, and panicked. He believed our voices were coming from his imagination until I touched him to reassure him we were real.

We called 911 and help was on the way, but they were unfamiliar with the trail system, so my friend David ran back to the entrance to meet them. It took about an hour and a half from first contact to when the EMS arrived. They carried him out of the woods on a spine board, through a tough hike back to the ambulance, reassuring him that he’d be alright the entire way back.

This entire day humbled me in many ways. It confirmed one of my worst fears: getting lost in the woods without a way for anyone to find me. The EMS were of top notch and extremely brave and professional. Somehow divine intervention changed our course that day and pointed us towards this remote cache and ultimately Robert. Geocaching steered us towards a much different adventure that may have saved a man’s life.

The area where they found Robert
The area where they found Robert

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