Forest rangers rescued two very unprepared hikers Monday after the men spent an unplanned night in the woods.
The men, 22-year-old Stephen Hine of Philadelphia and 26-year-old Kyle Austin of Syracuse, told forest rangers that they planned to hike 38 miles from Long Lake to Lake Placid on the Northville-Placid Trail. One of the men was dressed in sweatpants, and the other was in Carhartt pants. They had barely any food and a canteen full of water that ran out a short way into their trip.
"They (only) had two bagels, and the only reason they had that is that ... one of the guys' wives said, 'You have to bring something,'" Forest Ranger Tom Gliddi said. "I think they originally came with a little bit of water. Later on, they were just eating snow."
The men told forest rangers they felt confident that they could handle the trip because they were both long-distance runners. It is unclear how much backcountry experience they have, but they were extremely unprepared for a trip into the woods in January. They had no map, compass, snowshoes or skis, but did have some extra cotton clothes, which are discouraged in the backcountry because cotton dries slowly and holds cold water - or, if it freezes, ice - against the skin. Not having snowshoes or skis required them to posthole, which is tiring and slow.
They also had some lightweight sleeping gear. Temperatures were in the single digits Sunday night.
The men's trip started early Sunday, at 1 a.m. in Long Lake. By 10:20 p.m. that night, a wife of one of the men called the state Department of Environmental Conservation's dispatch center in Ray Brook, saying the two men were overdue.