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Lost Hiker Survives 10 Days by Drinking Creek Water From His Boot

First responders rescued Lukas McClish on Friday after he got lost while hiking near Big Basin Redwoods State Park in central California. McClish, 34, set out for a day hike and ended up stranded in the wilderness for over a week without even basic survival equipment. Thankfully, he survived and is back home with his family.

“Each day, I’d go up a canyon [and] down a canyon to the next waterfall, sit by the waterfall and drink water out of my boot,” McClish told KSBW News. He had no food or water, just a flashlight, a pair of folding scissors, the clothes on his back, and the boots on his feet. He says he didn’t bring anything because he’d planned to take a short hike. However, he ended up having to survive on his own for nine nights and 10 days.

“I felt comfortable the whole time I was out there,” McClish said in the KSBW interview. “I had a mountain lion that was following me, but it was cool. He kept his distance. I think it was just someone watching over me.”

Though McClish says he felt comfortable enough in the wilderness, he also says he dreamt of his next meal and cried out for help. Around day five, he admits he started to feel like he was in over his head.

Eventually, someone heard the lost hiker’s calls for help, and rescuers found McClish shirtless and looking haggard.

McClish did not tell friends or family where he was going, so it took a while for them to realize he was missing. Even then, they didn’t know where to start looking.

Check out our day hiking essentials article for tips on how to pack for a day hike so you’re prepared in case of emergency.

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