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#82650 - 11/08/07 10:52 AM missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas
demo Offline
member

Registered: 04/07/04
Posts: 221
Loc: Arkansan displaced in the PNW
A couple of hikers found a man dead on the OHT the other day, lying on top of his sleeping bag under a tarp. There are virtually no details yet of what has happened.

http://www.katv.com/news/stories/1107/470939.html
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#82651 - 11/08/07 11:38 AM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: demo]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
With such a dearth of details it's impossible to determine exactly what happened but based on this limited information it does not sound like a violent death. The deceased was young (31) but certainly old enough for a heart attack, aneurysm or even a stroke. But guessing is really futile at this point.

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#82652 - 11/08/07 11:46 AM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: Trailrunner]
Earthling Offline
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Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
A good time to say a prayer for him and his family. It could've been one of us <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />
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#82653 - 11/08/07 12:13 PM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: Earthling]
Glenn Offline
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Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
At the risk of sounding flippant (and I don't mean to), I can think of a lot worse ways to go. My condolences to those surviving him, and my sympathies to those who found him; that couldn't have been an easy experience, either.


Edited by Glenn (11/08/07 12:15 PM)

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#82654 - 11/08/07 12:15 PM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: Earthling]
Ender Offline
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Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 779
Loc: ME
Very sad. Though if I got to chose, it's exactly the way I'd want to go. Quietly, in the woods, on a hike. My thoughts are with his family. I hope they can take some solace knowing that he died doing what he loved.

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#82655 - 11/09/07 06:48 AM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: demo]
jshannon Offline
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Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 410
Loc: North Texas
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#82656 - 11/09/07 11:26 AM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: Ender]
Earthling Offline
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Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
My feelings exactly; just the other day while I was hiking a local trail, I thought to myself, "if the Lord's going to take me let it be amongst the things I love", for no apparent reason....then this? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> I, for one would hate to be taken ina car, plane or any other kind of 'manmade' wreck <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> It's probably why I despise society so much, I fear being taken by an imbissile talking on a cell phone speeding through a stop sign <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />

After pondering this last night i thought the gentleman could have persihed simply from exposure, hypothermia; because he was found lying on top of his sleeping bag. This would indicate to me someone who was confused, or suffering sweats, and got out of his bag thinking it would help, the delusional part of hypothermia. You'd have to have been around someone that's had hypothermia to understand what I'm pointing out here. The confusion that 'sets in' to their minds is surreal to say the least to those who are cognizant. This is one of the greatest dangers IMO when backpacking solo, there is no one to watch and alert you to the symptoms of hypothermia, save yourself. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

Other causes might have been heart related, ie stress, after having such a sedentary job as computer guy. All the physicalness of the trail could easily take a toll on someone not conditioned. An allergic reaction to something he ate or bite of some type.

Yes, it is very disturbing to normal people when they come upon a deceased person. Even those of us who've worked in emergency services of one type or another, or military, are still unnerved by the sight.
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#82657 - 11/09/07 11:43 AM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: jshannon]
Earthling Offline
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Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA


After reading some of the remarks some of the posters were making on the Kuro5hin webpage it was plain to see some were cheering for this guy's demise. At least the guy had the cajones to go hike his own hike; regardless of how it ended he bested them all.......they're all STILL sitting at their weenie computers...while he's off backpacking among the stars <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
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#82658 - 11/09/07 06:41 PM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: Earthling]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:

After reading some of the remarks some of the posters were making on the Kuro5hin webpage it was plain to see some were cheering for this guy's demise. At least the guy had the cajones to go hike his own hike; regardless of how it ended he bested them all.......they're all STILL sitting at their weenie computers...while he's off backpacking among the stars <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />


Nah, that's only the lusers <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> K5 is it's own kind of culture. It's a place where those with some clue go to vent and those seeking clue come to get hit with a clue stick. People on K5 are *supposed* to be
jerks. He'd be doubly laughing at them for that.

Story still struck a chord with me. I'm a geek and hike solo a lot too.
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#82659 - 11/10/07 10:28 AM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: demo]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I too think this young man may have perished from exposure. I've been out in the forest here, not too far from OHT, almost every night for the last couple weeks and it got pretty cold out when he was out there. It got down into the low 30s and even colder in some spots.

Sleeping on a hammock would really make you cold. I don't think that's been mentioned. I was laying on mine about 11:00 pm the other night and it got pretty darn cold. I don't think a sleeping bag would help much. An old timer told me long ago that cots and hammocks were no good for sleeping on outside in less than warm weather. "You get cold air on all sides." I brought a cot with me anyway one time. I learned the old coot was right, I was cold all night long. This was during the early Summer in the foothills of the Sequoia Forest near Springville CA, not near as cold at night as it's been here lately.

I'm practically an "Old Timer" now. I guess we need to remember to pass along some of the knowledge and experience we were given the benefit of. Some of it sticks.

I feel for his family, he was much to young to die and anyone that takes the time to hike the OHT is my kind of people, so I'll miss him too.

Bill


Edited by BillStephenson (11/10/07 10:30 AM)

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#82660 - 11/10/07 11:46 AM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: billstephenson]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Bill, you are so right about 'old timers passin' the torch of outdoor wisdom' <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> That's the main point of websites such as this one; in that folks in the know hang their hats here and chime in when the young'ns attempt to head of half-cocked into the wilds.

I thought I recalled you living out that way Bill. It's been getting colder by 10'f seemingly every week up here in NJ of late <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

How are those wee burros of your's doing? have'nt seen you around these parts of late.

Phat, that explains the cavilier attitude at K5.
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#82661 - 11/10/07 07:37 PM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: Earthling]
demo Offline
member

Registered: 04/07/04
Posts: 221
Loc: Arkansan displaced in the PNW
yes, one of the most tell-tale symptoms of hypothermia (and at the most critical time) is the sudden feeling of being hot. your body and mind are too confused at this time and many victims of hypothermia have been found lying in odd places (like on top of snow) in nothing but their skivvies.

I hadn't thought about hypothermia until your comment, but now it makes a lot of since. I guess we'll only know for sure once the police report comes out.
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#82662 - 11/11/07 04:30 AM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: demo]
jshannon Offline
member

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 410
Loc: North Texas
10/27- begins trip
11/05- this report implies he died on this date at mile 21

Probable gear- he's a lightweighter

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2007/5/6/181630/0670


===============================

Wednesday, November 7, 2007 9:25 AM CST

Dead Hiker Identified As St. Louis Man

By Hicham Raache

TIMES RECORD • HRAACHE@SWTIMES.COM

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of the hiker found dead Monday, but a definite cause of death remains undetermined.

Investigators have learned that John Adelsberger III, a 31-year-old St. Louis area resident, died on the Ozark Highland Trail while taking a rest during a lengthy excursion into the West Central Arkansas nature trails, according to Sheriff’s Office authorities.

“He was hiking,” Sheriff Reed Haynes said. “He has been planning this hiking trip for a couple years.”

The Sheriff’s Office could not reveal the hiker’s identity until his next of kin were notified.

Adelsberger embarked on the hike from Dockers Gap Trail Head Park near Mountainburg on Oct. 27. He was trekking toward Johnson County but died soon after he passed the 21-mile marker of the trail, Haynes said.

A man from Indiana and a woman from Florida were hiking the Ozark Highland Trail together Monday morning when they discovered Adelsberger’s body, Haynes said.

The body, found at around 11:30 a.m., was lying on top of a sleeping bag below a tarp suspended between three trees, according to Haynes and Sheriff’s Office investigator Steve Clemmons.

The condition of Adelsberger’s body indicated that he likely died Monday morning, Haynes said.

The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office located the St. Louis man’s vehicle in Mountainburg, in close proximity to Lake Fort Smith, according to Haynes.

No injuries were noticed on Adelsberger’s body, and the condition of the area where his body was found did not indicate that foul play contributed to his death, Clemmons said.

The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory in Little Rock will examine the body to determine a cause of death.


Edited by jshannon (11/11/07 06:04 AM)
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#82663 - 11/11/07 06:42 AM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: billstephenson]
Hector Offline
member

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 325
Loc: LA/ARK/TX corner
I spent a 32F and 37F night in the Ouachitas last week, in a hammock. My BA insulated air mattress failed the first night out, and all I had was an Oware 20" x 60" x 3/16" pad. I folded it in half and slipped it into the BA Mystic's sleeve, then improvised a Garlington insulator from my poncho and fallen leaves. I was surprisingly comfortable. So, if he had a decent pad or underquilt, he should have had no trouble in that regard. It sounds like he did think about what he was doing, and I'd assume he had appropriate gear.

I suspect something else happened that we just don't know about yet. Wonder if he fell in a stream or something? I can visualize him lying on top of the bag hoping to dry out some before getting into it... It's a shame.

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#82664 - 11/12/07 09:37 PM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: jshannon]
demo Offline
member

Registered: 04/07/04
Posts: 221
Loc: Arkansan displaced in the PNW
buy his gear, it would sound like he's into lightweight backpacking, but I would guess he either A) has had some experience using his gear, or B) has just read a lot and assumes his choices will work.

regarding him being found at mile 21, it isn't in a particularly tough section of the trail, however, the Salt Fork Creek crossing is at mile 20.2. while most of the time it is a dry crossing, it does have the reputation of being flooded on occasion and can be dangerous. it is very possible he got wet here and was trying to dry off at camp a little ways down trail.

knowing how the weather can be along the OHT, if he was wet, outside of his bag, and the temperature dropped quickly, he could have easily been susceptible to hypothermia.
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#82665 - 11/15/07 11:22 AM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: demo]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Yes Ryan, it's a point I'm trying to stress here in this thread. One CANNOT 'just' buy the 'best/most expensive gear' and vicariously become knowledgeable about backpacking by reading about it on the web or from books IMO/IME <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> Like in many other areas of Life, it takes many years of hands on knowledge, in the field, to understand what one has to do instinctively to stay alive on the trail. Just because you have the 'whiz bang tarp' won't do you any good if you don't know the proper pitch for the weather that you're in or about to experience. Knowing what you are capable of under variuos conditions is AS or MORE important than any gear you can buy or advice you can read/are given IMO/IME. It all comes down to a combination of factors, of which collectively those of us here with the experience try to put into perspective for everyone to discuss, myself included. I may have 35 years in the Wilds but I'm no expert, the day one declares one's self an *expert* against outwitting Mother nature is the day one deal's one's own hand.

It's my opinion that this guy went out with good quality equiptment; but lacked the fundementals of what was needed to deal with the situation he found himself in, alone. THIS is why hiking/backpacking solo is for very seasoned folks who understand the risks and are willing to accept them.

I honestly think this thread should be bookmarked at the top of the Newbie Forum for all to read. I'm not saying this guy was a newbie, just inexperienced for what he encountered that fateful day. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
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#82666 - 11/15/07 11:24 AM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: demo]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Since one of the stories relating the police report states, "...there was a fella from Ohio and a woman from Florida hiking together.." seems these 2 backpackers hooked up on some website to do this hike. Now to find out who they are and what they can discuss about that day.
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#82667 - 11/15/07 02:47 PM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: Earthling]
demo Offline
member

Registered: 04/07/04
Posts: 221
Loc: Arkansan displaced in the PNW
Quote:
I honestly think this thread should be bookmarked at the top of the Newbie Forum for all to read. I'm not saying this guy was a newbie, just inexperienced for what he encountered that fateful day. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />


I agree whole heartedly. Moderators?
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#82668 - 11/15/07 05:53 PM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: demo]
altadude Offline
member

Registered: 11/16/03
Posts: 524
I am sorry but how do we know he didn't have a heart attack?
Or a stroke or a pulm embolism?
Was an autopsy performed?
Did I miss something or was there incontrovertible evidence that he was hypothermic?

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#82669 - 11/15/07 06:20 PM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: altadude]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
I had the same thoughts. I think we're once again prematurely assuming his cause of death was somehow preventable or caused by his choices in equipment or level of knowledge.

Step back and find out what he died of before jumping to conclusions.

MNS
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#82670 - 11/16/07 10:36 AM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: altadude]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
I'm not suggestting this be bookmarked because of the cause of his death; rather because he was 'prepared' by the equiptment he carried, yet it did him no good. Point taken, I'll await the coroner's report also.

I still think we should 'spread out' and search other forums to see if the two backpackers who discovered him can be located within our ranks. Surely if they hooked up and went on a trip together and live in different states they must be online in a forum <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />
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#82671 - 11/16/07 01:09 PM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: midnightsun03]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Quote:
Step back and find out what he died of before jumping to conclusions.


I see no harm in discussing the possibilities of what may have happened. While we really cannot conclude anything concrete here, one can learn from the discussion.

Kindest Regards,

Bill

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#82672 - 11/16/07 04:37 PM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: billstephenson]
haikublue Offline
member

Registered: 04/29/07
Posts: 205
Loc: Berkeley, California
This is like CSI Wilderness...Virtual even!

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#82673 - 11/17/07 07:47 PM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: haikublue]
Hector Offline
member

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 325
Loc: LA/ARK/TX corner
Stranger and stranger -- read his comments about the sheriff's office on this case. (After November 2007 this will probably be here.)

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#82674 - 11/18/07 07:44 AM Re: missouri hiker found dead in Arkansas [Re: Hector]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods

Hector's reference is in date 11/16/07, 6th paragraph.

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