A hiker in Chaffee County, Colorado is lucky to be alive.
The unidentified man ventured out to hike a 13,000-foot peak when it started snowing.
He was only wearing a cotton hoodie to stay warm during the hike.
With no food, no water, and no way to stay warm, the man called the emergency services for help and the Chaffee County Search and Rescue responded.
Due to limited cell service, rescue teams could not get a GPS signal of the hiker’s location. All they knew was that he was near a lake.
Twenty-five groups of search and rescue personnel set out looking for the hiker.
One team of searchers found footprints in about eight inches of new snow.
The team followed the footprints until they ended at a large rock. The rescuers quickly realized the rock was actually the lost hiker.
The man was sitting upright in a fetal position covered in snow. He was alive but hypothermic.
Rescuers spent the next three hours trying to warm the man up before moving him.
They lowered the man down the mountain using ropes, one section at a time.
Eventually, the man said he could walk with some assistance.
After spending more than ten hours in the cold and snow the injured hiker was loaded into an ambulance and taken to a nearby hospital.
After the rescue, local officials took the opportunity to remind people of the dangers of hiking in bad weather.
In addition, they reminded everyone of the essential gear that should be taken on every hiking trip.
Now, this hiker was totally unprepared for the adventure.
He didn’t take food, water, or proper clothing, and it sounds like he didn’t even have a backpack.
If he’d had a good pack, as everyone should, he could have easily stowed everything he needed.
But there are so many different backpack options that it can be hard to decide which is the best for a hike.
One option that is becoming popular are backpack coolers.
The reality is that coolers are a great piece of outdoor gear, and they can make sense for hiking.
Considering this, here are a few things to know if you are considering a backpack cooler for your next adventure.
What is a backpack cooler?:
A backpack cooler is an insulated backpack with padded shoulder straps and suspension systems similar to hiking daypacks.
Many cooler backpacks are waterproof and contain compartments for cold items as well as space for regular gear.
These types of backpacks are growing in popularity because they can keep food cold much longer than a regular hiking backpack.
Benefits of a backpack cooler:
There are a few ways backpack coolers set themselves apart from your regular cooler.
First, a backpack cooler is a lot easier to carry than a regular cooler.
Having the weight of the cooler centered and supported on your back is much better than carrying a large awkward cooler in your hand.
Another benefit is that the backpack cooler can be used as much or as little as needed.
As you go through your hike you will use up its contents and can compress the cooler down.
If you empty the cooler, you can put it in another bag for easier carrying.
Which is much better than having to lug around a bulky, empty cooler.
Finally, a soft-sided backpack cooler weighs a fraction of a hard-sided plastic cooler.
When you’re hiking or bugging out you want a cooler that is light and small. A backpack cooler can be just what you’re looking for.
Drawbacks to cooler backpack:
The biggest drawback to a backpack cooler is that they aren’t as durable as a hard shell container.
For instance, you can do a lot of damage to a hard-sided Yeti cooler, and it will survive.
But a soft-shell cooler won’t hold up to that kind of abuse.
Also, soft shell coolers typically won’t stay as cold for as long as hard-shell options.
Finally, a cooler backpack has zippers, and sometimes zippers fail.
The last thing you want is a zipper to fall apart when you are bugging out and need to keep your food cold.
The reason it’s worth checking out a backpack cooler is because they are much lighter and easier to carry long distances compared to a typical cooler.
If you are considering a backpack cooler, check out the Icemule Pro Collapsible Cooler.
It provides up to 24 hours of cooling, is designed to float, and is completely collapsible when not in use. It sells for about $100 new.
Another cooler to consider is the Yeti Hopper M20.
The Yeti has a capacity of 20 liters and can carry up to 18 cans.
It’s made of tear and puncture-resistant fabric and sells for about $250 new.
During a hike or bug-out situation, a cooler can make a big difference.
Instead of carrying a bulky hard-sided cooler, a cooler backpack can help you be well prepared for your next hiking trip or camping adventure.