cover image Lost in the Wild: Danger and Survival in the North Woods

Lost in the Wild: Danger and Survival in the North Woods

Cary J. Griffith, . . Minnesota Historical Society/Borealis, $24.95 (302pp) ISBN 978-0-87351-561-0

Freelancer Griffith details the travails of two hikers who lost their way for several harrowing days in separate incidents in the Minnesota and Ontario wilderness and emerged alive and relatively unscathed thanks to the efforts of search-and-rescue professionals and volunteers. Hiking alone in a remote area with a changeable climate in October 2001, medical student Jason Rasmussen ran into trouble on the first day when he ventured onto a wrong path and became lost in dense forest. The hapless Rasmussen next lost a crucial map and eventually abandoned his tent, food, and hat and gloves as he tried to recover the trail. By contrast, young Dan Stephens was a savvy canoeist and guide who, in August 1998, on a routine search for his next portage, fell, hit his head and wandered away from the inexperienced group of Chattanooga Boy Scouts he was leading. Griffith writes lucidly throughout, but is more adept with flora than people, whose characterizations are bland. This doesn't have the scope and power of standouts in the adventure genre like Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild and will be best appreciated by Minnesota and Ontario wilderness buffs. Illus. (Mar. 15)