Lost hiker burned backpack to stay warm - KPTV - FOX 12

Lost hiker burned backpack, hat to stay warm

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A lost hiker set his backpack and hat on fire to stay warm during a cold night in the Columbia River Gorge.

Scott Morrison, of Beaverton, set out on a day hike near Horsetail Falls on Thursday while wearing jeans, a T-shirt and a lightweight jacket. He carried water, but did not bring any food or a flashlight.

Morrison had previously done the hike about seven years ago, but he didn't remember it being so long, and with daylight savings time, he ran out of light.

Multnomah County deputies said Morrison called 911 when he became turned around and couldn't see the trail. Morrison began to hunker down as the evening temperature lowered, and he burned the items he brought with him to stay warm.

After calling for help, Morrison stayed where he was, and deputies said that helped searchers locate him quickly.

Rescue crews reached him at about 5:40 a.m. Friday, and escorted him back to the base camp at Horsetail Falls.

Although cold and shaken up, Morrison did not suffer any injuries. As soon as he stepped off the trial, he told reporters he wanted to thank the rescue teams who found him so quickly.

"They were just awesome from beginning to end," Morrison said. "I can't tell you how grateful I am."

Deputies said hikers should always carry a map, compass, flashlight, food, water and extra clothing when they set out on a hike. They should also bring a fire starter, a knife, a first aid kit and a signaling device, plus a cell phone with extra battery.

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