A Colorado hiker was found alive after spending three days in the mountain wilderness.

A 36-year-old Silverthorne man was found on Tuesday just below the summit of Mount Missouri in Chaffee County. The Sheriff's office reports a search helicopter spotted his campfire.

Apparently, he set out on Saturday to hike to the summit one of Colorado's famed "14er" mountains but when he didn't show up back home that evening his wife reported him missing. The search included 45 people and three helicopters. The concern, of course, was the weather conditions as over a foot of snow fell in the region on Monday.

This event serves as a reminder that all Colorado outdoor activities come with risks. The National Park Service has these hiking safety tips:

  • Let a responsible person know your route and return time.
  • Always hike with another person. Keep your hiking party together and stay on officially maintained trails.
  • Do not rely on technology to save you. Cell phones do not work most places in the backcountry and GPS is sometimes unreliable.
  • Carry a current map and know how to read it. Remember that the park trail map is a flat representation of the park's rugged, mountainous terrain.
  • Carry a flashlight or headlamp-even on a dayhike. If you have trouble on the trail, darkness may fall before you can finish your hike.
  • Take adequate water-minimum 2 quarts per person per day. 3-4 quarts are recommended per person.
  • Carry a small first aid kit.
  • Check the current weather forecast and be prepared for quickly changing conditions.
  • Wear shoes or boots that provide good ankle support.
  • Avoid hypothermia by keeping dry. Avoid cotton clothing. Dress in layers that can be easily removed or added as you heat up or cool down. Always carry a wind-resistant jacket and rain gear-even on sunny days!
  • Don't attempt to cross rain-swollen streams; they will recede rapidly after precipitation stops and the wait may save your life!
  • Do not hike at night. If you are camping, plan to get to your campsite before dark.
  • Research the terrain of your trip, and plan an itinerary that is realistic for your group's level of backcountry experience and physical abilities to backpack in steep, mountainous terrain.

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