Stranded Hikers Recovering At Mission
A group of hikers are lucky to be alive after they nearly froze to death on the Appalachian Trail. They were rescued by the National Guard in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Friday morning.
The three hikers were taken to Asheville's Mission Hospital. Responding rangers had stabilized the men in the field with dry clothing, sleeping bags, and shelter. They were treated for hypothermia and possible frostbite. All three were very weak and could not walk.
Shawn Hood, Steven White, and Jonathan Dobbins, ages 21 to 32, from Gaffney, South Carolina, had started out from Fontana Dam on January 2nd for a 10 day backpacking trip. They used cell phones to report being cold and wet and needing rescue later that night. The men said they were unable to walk and had no shelter. They tried to keep warm by using a small propane tank as a makeshift heater.
The hikers thought the weather report called for rain so they didn't pack any cold weather gear. They say they were shocked when they got stuck in blinding snow and sub-zero temperatures. The men were reported wearing mostly cotton clothing, which provides little or no warmth when wet.
The hikers say they learned their lesson and hope other people learn from them too. Despite this whole ordeal, they tell News 13 they plan on trying to hike the Appalachian Trail again.
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