As sure as the earth will take another trip around the sun, 2017 will be filled with some extraordinary survival stories. Hopefully, you or a loved one will not be the unfortunate victims of any yourselves.
But if you do find yourselves in the outdoors in a hairy predicament, it pays off to know the experiences of those who have been there before. Over the past year, we’ve kept a watchful eye on survival stories around the globe. Here were the seven craziest stories from 2016.
72-year-old Woman Survives 9 Days in Desert
Back in April, 72-year-old Ann Rodgers was travelling from Tucson to Phoenix with her puppy when she took a wrong turn down a dirt road. After running out of fuel, Rodgers decided to hoof it with the pup to a rock shelter where they found pond water to drink. She was able to notify authorities with a trace cell phone coverage who found her campsite some nine days later.
Skiers Rescued from Alaska Glacier
About the same time Ann Rodgers was surviving the Arizona desert, two skiers on an Alaskan glacier got stranded when conditions made it impossible for the helicopter to pick them up. The man and woman spent the night at 4,300 feet with fierce winds and whiteout conditions that ripped their tent apart. They reportedly dug into a snow cave for the remainder of the ordeal and were rescued safely.
Boaters Spell Out HELP
When three boaters in Micronesia became stranded on a desert island, they did what any good survival handbook advices: they built a signal. In this case, they built a fire and wrote out the word “HELP” in big bold letters with pond fronds. When rescuers saw it form the air in April it looked like something out of a movie. The crew were just happy to be going home safely.
Hunting Party Survives 9 Days in Canadian Arctic
Up in the Canadian tundra, the native people there pride themselves on their survival skills. But even for the most skilled among them like 62-year-old Paloosie Keyootak, surviving nine days on the open tundra is a challenge. Keyootak, a member of the Nunavut legislature managed to lead his 16-year-old son and adult nephew to safety in what ranks as one of the best survival stories of 2016.
Woman Survives Scary Grand Canyon Ordeal
Just making the list for 2016 was the recent story of Karen Klein, the 47-year-old mother who survived a night in the snow above the south rim of the Grand Canyon on Christmas day. Klein was travelling with her husband and son toward the Grand Canyon from Utah when they took a detour and got stuck. Klein went to get help but ended up spending the night in the cold and was later rescued in what was being called a Christmas miracle.
Scuba Divers Drift for 2 Days
In a horrifying story for anyone who ventures into the ocean, two scuba divers got separated from their boat and fellow dive buddies in Colombia and drifted for two days. Fortunately the water was warm enough that they did not succumb to hypothermia and managed to make it out alive.
British Skier Survives Wolf Attack
Finally, our last story for 2016 and the topper of the whole year was the tale of a British skier in Bulgaria who was skiing out of bounds and found himself knocked unconscious. Then when he woke up, matters got even worse when he was chased by a pack of wolves. He managed to climb a tree where he spent the night in the freezing cold, but fortunately managed to live to tell about it.