A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2016 Jun 1, 15:35 -0700
I've been reading reports about the death of Largay, too. It's really puzzling. The woods are "deep" there, but this is Maine, not Alaska. I can't find a definitive source, but I think I've pinned down the location of her final camp, where she eventually died: 44.9833 N, 70.4009 W. Largay was a relatively experienced hiker, not one of the over-zealous folks who have just recently read or seen "Wild" or "A Walk in the Woods" (a great book by Bill Bryson and an unfortunately not-so-great film based on it). She was only a short distance from the main trail when she decided to hunker down and await rescue. Presumably she didn't know that. Perhaps she had wandered many miles off the trail during the day or over several days and then nearly re-traced her path back, not realizing how close she was. Still, there are roads out there. If she had hiked in any direction for as little as two miles, she would have found a way out.
I agree somewhat with the quotation from Warren Doyle suggesting that her cell phone may have given her a false sense of security, a feeling that help might be on the way. She had successfully texted her husband from the woods in recent days. But that also strikes me as bending over backward to find a way to blame technology. It is common advice to hikers that they should stay put when they realize they are lost. Wait for help, and don't waste resources and energy. And in truth Largay should have been found, could have been found, but tragically the search teams who scoured that area in the days immediately after she disappeared somehow just missed her. Fate intervenes...