Bright Side

7 People Who Got Lost in the Wild and Somehow Survived

Each year many people get lost in the wilderness. While many never manage to make it back, there are a lucky and hardy few who have managed to survive the ordeal.

Bright Side tells you the story of 7 of these courageous people who, against all odds, were able to make it safely out of the wilderness.

Jamie Neale’s 12-day ordeal

The 19-year-old from North London got lost in the dense bush of Australia’s Blue Mountains during a solo day-hike in July 2009. His day-hike, unfortunately, turned into a 12-day-long nightmare. He survived by eating seeds and plants and used tree bark to cover himself. Despite rescue helicopters trying to find him, the trees kept him hidden even when they were flying right over him.

He was eventually found by 2 hikers, who helped him get to a hospital.

Juliane Koepcke survived a 3 km fall from the sky and 9 days in the wilderness.

On December 24, 1971, the 17-year-old German was traveling on a commercial airliner with her mother when lightning struck the aircraft during a severe thunderstorm and broke it up in mid-air. Juliane fell roughly 3 km to the ground in the middle of the Amazonian mountains still strapped into her seat and survived with a broken collarbone, a gash to her right arm, and her right eye swollen shut. She managed to locate a small stream and waded through knee-high water downstream, which, as her father had taught her, often leads to civilization.

After being stranded in the jungle alone for 9 days, she found a boat moored near a shelter. She used the gasoline from the boat’s fuel tank to clean her infected wounds. Later that day the lumbermen who used that shelter found her and treated her wounds. She was then airlifted the next day.

Andrew Gaskell’s quest for spirituality turned into a 2-week-long nightmare in the wilderness.

This 25-year-old Australian vacationing in Malaysia lost his way while hiking in the Gunung Mulu National Park. He had purposely decided to stay away from highly populated tourist attractions in order to be able to connect with nature. He was declared missing on October 20, 2016. Later he recounted that he lost his way after descending a mountain into bushland where there were a lot of trails.

He was found by a search and rescue team after almost 2 weeks in a remote area known as the Hidden Valley. When he was finally airlifted he was malnourished, dehydrated, and his legs were covered in leeches.

Yossi Ghinsberg was found after 3 weeks with rotting skin.

What began as an adventure of a lifetime in 1981 for Ghinsberg, after the completion of his service in the Israeli Navy, quickly turned into a struggle for survival. When he got separated from his travel buddies in the wild Amazonian jungle, without any food or equipment, he survived by eating berries, fruits, and eggs from bird nests. He said that during the ordeal he was almost eaten alive by beasts of prey and giant red ants, and his skin had begun to rot. He was found 3 weeks after he was first declared missing, and right when the search mission was about to give up.

The 2017 movie Jungle starring Daniel Radcliffe tells his story.

Aleksandr Kovalev survived the harsh Siberian winter and black bears for 2 weeks.

Kovalev, who worked as a gold digger and a driver, disappeared into the wild Siberian taiga during the cold winter of 2017. The rescue team dispatched to locate him found his truck, but there were no signs of him anywhere. To add to the mystery was the fact that he had left his glasses in the truck, when he could barely see without them.

However, after 2 weeks of disappearance, he emerged out from the wilderness and onto a highway where he was finally found. He had frostbite all over his legs and had to be hospitalized. The trauma left him so shaken that he could not remember how and why he got lost and how he managed to survive in such chilling temperatures in a forest full with wild animals including black bears, wolves, and tigers.

Shannon Leah Fraser miraculously managed to stay alive for 17 days in the wild.

On September 21, 2014, following a disagreement with her fiancé, the 30-year-old Australian decided to take a walk in the bush to calm herself down. However, she got lost in the wilderness and couldn’t find her way back home. When she did not return after a long time, search operations to find her began.

Shannon finally found her way back 17 days later with the help of a farmer named Brad Finch who helped her get to a hospital. Her skin was sunburned and bleeding and she also had a deep gash in her leg. She said that she had survived by eating bugs and fish and drinking water from a creek.

Madeline Connelly’s day trip went wrong.

On May 4th, 2017, planning only a short day hike in the wilderness of northwest Montana, the 23-year-old set out on a trail with no food or water and only her dog Mogi at her side. Within a couple of hours, however, she lost her way and ended up going deeper into the wilderness in search of a way out. To make matters worse, apart from the freezing night temperatures, she also knew that forest bears and mountain lions were present in the forest.

She was rescued after 6 days of frantic search.

Who among these 7 do you think had to face the harshest conditions? Let us know in the comments.