View Full Version : Back Country Emergency-Is It Ok?

09-27-2007, 10:11 PM
You guys know me as the Survival Expert (Which I am! ) One thing I need to know is, if you get lost in th GSMNP will you get yelled at by a ranger if you eat any fish or plants? Maybe went backpacking, and ran out of food or something. Is there a rule, that says what you can do in a survival situation, or has there been any reports of people lost, that ate fish or plants, and how the park handled it?


milligan trout degree
09-27-2007, 11:52 PM
I've never been lost in the park or had any other reason to resort to survival techniques, but I would imagine that rangers would be understanding to eating a fish or plant even if its illegal. I wouldn't push my chances and try to play the survival card if one was to get caught on a day hike. Don't think they'll buy it.

09-28-2007, 12:39 AM
well, you're allowed to eat fish already (within the regulations), but I don't think you can eat the plants. In a survival situation, however, you should eat whatever it takes to stay alive. No ranger would be mad, but if they were, it's better than you being dead!

the main thing you should be concerned with is water. food would be secondary depending on how long you were out there. most people don't realize it, but you can generally go a long time without food. people fast for 30 days all the time. however, if you ate nothing but lean meat (no fat, no carbs) you would die quickly. its called rabbit starvation (because people used to starve from eating nothing but rabbit, which is very lean). eating nothing but fish should be ok though, as fish is a fatty meat.

also, do not eat a polar bear's liver, you will die from vitamin A toxicity.

09-28-2007, 08:52 AM
also, do not eat a polar bear's liver, you will die from vitamin A toxicity.

:biggrin: Good tip. I'll try to remember that one if I ever run into a polar bear while in the GSMNP!

To answer the original question; I wouldn't care if someone got mad or not. you're in a survival, anything goes mode. Who cares what the law is at a time like that. Much better to be judged by 12 people rather than carried by 6 people!

09-28-2007, 10:41 AM
If I were honestly lost and in a survival situation, I'd eat anything that was edible and burn anything burnable (is that a word) to boil water so that I could drink and stay alive.

If I were fined for violating a park regulation, I'd probably try to fight it on the survival basis and if I lost, gladly pay the fine in exchange for my life.

All bets are off when it's about sruvival. Now, just taking a stroll through the park and realizing I forgot lunch would not really constitute survival. (even though I really hate to miss lunch...)