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Kati Kim's life-saving ingenuity

The story of the missing Kim family finally took at least one promising turn yesterday afternoon when Kati Kim and her and James Kim' two daughters were found alive and in amazingly good condition after surviving for 9 days of exposure in what the Chronicle describes as snowy "wilderness."

We prattle on quite a lot here about what amounts to "how to put your pants on faster" tricks that can make you more theoretically productive. But, when it comes to real-life life hacking, this woman takes the cake.

I swear, if my family and I are ever in a situation like the Kims went through, I hope to God that one person in our group has the clear thinking, make-do ingenuity, and life-saving cleverness of Kati Kim:

They ran the heater in their station wagon until the car was out of gas, then burned all the tires in a desperate attempt to keep warm. When the food ran out, Kati Kim breastfed her two young daughters to keep them alive.

Hope was running low for the Kim family nine days after they became stranded in the snowy mountains of southwestern Oregon while making their way toward home in San Francisco. Then, at 1:45 p.m. Monday, Kim spotted a helicopter her family had hired to help in the search. She waved an umbrella on which she had taped reflective striping, and soon she and the girls were saved.

I honestly can't imagine I'd ever have the ability to hold it together for nine days in the wilderness -- let alone have the presence of mind to find reflective tape and put it on an umbrella. Man. Go, Kati.

I'm sure you all join me in sending good thoughts toward the Kim family as everyone holds their breath and hopes for James's safe location and rescue as soon as possible. A website has been set up to assist in finding James, and there's an email address on that page where you can send good wishes to the family.

[link and quote via BB]

Scott's picture

@ Arthur - I think...

@ Arthur - I think this is one of those situations where we can all say we would have done but without being in the actual situation you don't know what you would do or what could happen. Maybe they were just concerned about keeping warm and not thinking that helicopters etc. would be flying around looking for them.

@ Jaya - as for how they tires were lit, on a recent episode of Survivorman, Les Stroud used a method where he took the tire off the rim (the spare I think) and laid it on its side. Then he put a small amount of gasoline inside it and lit it. He was very clear at pointing out you needed to be careful when igniting it (i believe in his case he had to use battery cables to make a spark).




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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