What was supposed to be a nice winter hike in the Mount Washington State Park with friends, turned into a dire situation. You are left alone to fight for your survival. With only marginal supplies you have to fight off of the cold, the wildlife and find your way to an abandoned ranger station in hope to be able to call for help.
While you haven’t suffered any injuries during the fall, you lost your backpack and hence most of your gear and supplies. You will need to find shelter, find some food and rest. Then it’s about making your way to an old ranger station to call for rescue.
Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? It is, except for the supplies you are going to need for the trip, the weather, the freezing cold, not to mention the wildlife. The goal of the game is to survive. To prepare enough to make the trip to the ranger station and to deal with all the surprises along the journey.
Hunt or be hunted. You have no rifle and there is no combat. If you encounter wolfs or even a bear, stay away and run. You won’t be able to kill a bear with a knife, it’s not the movies.
What you can do is be clever about the wildlife and set traps. You might even be able to find some traps hunters left behind and use them to maintain a safe perimeter or to hunt smaller animals for food. Tracking, establishing the best spot and being patient is what the hunt will be about.
Cold, thirst, hunger and exhaustion are the four major factors you have to worry about. It doesn’t however end there. Injuries are another one and there is the weather. Spending the night in the freezing cold without any shelter is akin to a death sentence and trying to go out in a snow storm isn’t any better either. Don’t forget, weather in the mountains changes quickly and is unpredictable. You have to be prepared at all times.
You are not the first one person in this area. There have been many before you. More than a century ago some even lived here. If you explore your surroundings there is a good chance they may have left something behind that will still be useful to you. And while building a shelter on your own is certainly an option, it is a lot better and safer to adapt something that already exists.
You could find an old hunter lodge and fix it up to offer decent shelter and a base of operations for you to prepare, gather supplies and food and even hunt. You are going to have a long trip ahead of you. The better you prepare, the less risky it will be.
The rescue isn’t going to be instant. Despite modern equipment and well trained mountain rescue personnel, you are far away and their helicopter can’t take off in any weather. Between you calling for help and help actually arriving might take even a couple of days. Additional time you have to survive in the bitter cold at Mount Washington.