Close Call in the Woods

By
Real Estate Agent with Lake and Lodge Realty LLC

I had an experience this week that changed my thought process on walking vacant parcels forever. I listed an amazing hunting parcel sight unseen. A fellow Realtor from down state Michigan called and knew what he wanted to list for and I was excited. Around here land is usually listed for between $1,500 and $2,000 per acre so when I was told $1,000 per acre plus costs I signed him up.

Same day I decided to walk the parcel and take a few pics so off I wandered. Told my partner (my wife) I was going to walk a 40 and would be back in a couple hours. To access this parcel you take the two track at the end of the seasonal road back in. Not having a key to the gate yet, I parked at the road and took off afoot down the two track.

A hundred yards into it the humidity started showing up in my breathing and perspiration. Once I reached the parcel I was soaked in sweat and the heat was unbearable. Of course I had a black shirt on and my black hair added to the misery. I knew there were a couple old beaver ponds on the north edge so I hiked off the two track to get pics of the ponds. A couple hundred yards into the thick woods it happened. I looked down and I was drooling bad but had stopped sweating and without warning I got the worse head ache I have ever had. I was borderline coherent and was getting cramps all over. I knew I was in trouble.  Having taken first aide classes I immediately took my shirt off and sat in the shade for a few. I made my way back to the truck ever so slowly stopping every few yards to rest. By the time I got to the truck my thinking was in and out but managed to find my bottle of water and poured it over my head and neck. Figuring the air would help cool me I rolled the windows down and took off. Must have had a pretty high temp cause the 90 degree air felt cool. By the time I hit the main road I was sweating again which I assumed was a good sign and slowly made my way home where I drank everything in the fridge to re-hydrate. A cool shower and rest did the trick. Still a little nauseous but much improved I took the rest of the day off.

Once back at the house, safe and sound, the reality of it all started hitting me. Here are a few things I should have done differently:

  • I should have left a detailed map where I was going before starting out.
  • I should have taken extra water with me being it was so hot.
  • I should have waited till morning when the temps were lower to walk any large parcel.
  • I should have asked someone to go along for a nice walk in the country.
  • I should have a first aide kit in my vehicle with aspirin.
  • I should have made sure I had cell phone reception before starting out.

I have walked miles and miles of two tracks and woods without incidence until this happened and it really came on quickly without warning. My first aide training may have saved my life as I am not sure anyone would have stumbled on me that far into the woods. Moral of the story is learn basic first aide and know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Most of all take that extra few minutes to prepare for any journey. Either take someone with you or let someone know your exact location and when you should be back. I have to meet a prospective buyer out there this morning at the same parcel to walk the land with him but this time I am better prepared. Best of luck in all you do and thanks for reading.

Posted by

As always if you think the Big Rapids area is a place you would like to live give us a call (231) 796-5253 or check out either link below and we will help you find a house so the Big Rapids area can be your home too. Thanks for reading. 

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Randy Ostrander
Lake and Lodge Realty
107 N. Michigan Suite B
Big Rapids, MI 49307
(231) 796-5253
randyooo@yahoo.com

 

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Richard Weeks 07/10/2010 12:16 AM
  2. Geri Sonkin 07/10/2010 05:35 AM
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Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

Randy,

Glad you lived to talk to us about this. I will keep this in mind when I am contemplating going off on similiar excursion.

Jul 10, 2010 08:48 AM #56
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Pam Turner, REALTOR®, e-PRO®, SFR
Century 21 Belk Realtors Dalton GA - Dalton, GA

Wow, Randy, glad you're ok. When I first started reading, though, I thought you were going to tell us a big bear came after you or something!

Jul 10, 2010 09:19 AM #57
Rainer
407,272
Randy Ostrander
Lake and Lodge Realty LLC - Big Rapids, MI
Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI

Tigard, Have a membership and use it. It didn't seem to help. I wasn't even tired just overwhelmed form heat.

Mike , I walk these everyday and just never gave it any thought. Take lots of water.

Pam, I have encountered bear while walking land and I will take them anyday compared to this. Makes you realize how fragile big strong people are too.

Erica. Thanks and I am about 100 miles SW of West Branch.

Jul 10, 2010 09:58 AM #59
Rainer
407,272
Randy Ostrander
Lake and Lodge Realty LLC - Big Rapids, MI
Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI

Tigard, Have a membership and use it. It didn't seem to help. I wasn't even tired just overwhelmed form heat.

Mike , I walk these everyday and just never gave it any thought. Take lots of water.

Pam, I have encountered bear while walking land and I will take them anyday compared to this. Makes you realize how fragile big strong people are too.

Erica. Thanks and I am about 100 miles SW of West Branch.

Jul 10, 2010 09:58 AM #60
Rainmaker
221,358
Richard Strahm
American Foursquare Realty - Lansdale, PA
Lansdale and North Penn Real Estate

What a sobering story!  Glad you're still with us.  It's easy to forget that Mother Nature can be cruel and unforgiving at times.

Jul 10, 2010 11:11 AM #61
Rainer
106,672
Rob Magnotta
Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Seal Beach, Irvine REALTOR - Huntington Beach, CA
Huntington Beach & Newport Beach Coastal Specialist

Scary.

While I don't have many hills in my neck of the woods, dehydration can affect all us.

Jul 10, 2010 12:35 PM #62
Rainmaker
376,927
Robin Dampier REALTOR®
Coldwell Banker King - Hendersonville, NC
Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source

Wow Randy, what great news that you did get to walk and sell it!!  Great job and a great lesson learned that you will always remember.

Jul 10, 2010 12:48 PM #63
Rainer
174,961
John Howard
Century 21 LeMac Realty - Mountain Home, AR
GRI, Mountain Home, Arkansas 870-404-3614

Randy,  Glad it worked out...Sorry that you had to suffer through it, but thank you for sharing so that we can take the proper precautions.  I usually have a cooler with bottled water in my truck, this time of year...the bug spray..even some extra hankerchiefs at times....Glad you were able to tell the tale!  Have a great week!

Jul 10, 2010 01:13 PM #64
Rainmaker
289,046
Pippa Mac
Chevaux Group Realtor, The Woodlands and Spring - The Woodlands, TX
The Woodlands TX Real Estate

Randy .... at least you had good head on your shoulders to remember your training!  pippa

Jul 10, 2010 01:17 PM #65
Rainmaker
179,177
Ann-Marie Clements
Candidate for an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership - Saint John, NB
Ed.D. candidate, Innovative Proactive Principa

Hi Randy,

Around here, walking in the woods will get you real close to MOOSE, DEER, & BLACK BEARS!!! LOL  ;>))

Jul 10, 2010 03:40 PM #66
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Isn't it amazing that your comfort level is so much better when wearing white than colored clothing.  White shorts and a white shirt are my favorite in "over 90 degree weather. 

TOTOH, in cold weather, I want that black turtle neck and black jeans. 

Glad you madei t through.

Jul 10, 2010 11:19 PM #67
Rainer
89,906
Chris Pendleton
Tierra Antigua - Marana, AZ

Hi Randy - Thanks for sharing.


One other thought would be a hand held GPS for being out in the woods.  May sound silly, but I got caught once going down a trail to get a sunset picture - after it was dark I could not find the trail spur that got me in.  I knew the direction and ended up bushwacking my way out in the dark.  I made a point at that time that I never go into the wilderness without one (and I do backpacking, camping, boating, ect).  I also carry a satellite phone when I am really remote (probably not practicable for walking a 40).

Jul 11, 2010 03:30 AM #68
Rainmaker
1,849,702
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Randy, close call indeed. I suspect that's happened to most of us who hike, trail run, etc. It only takes one experience like that to make us mend our ways. Heat exhaustion is not to be trifled with!

Jul 11, 2010 04:47 AM #69
Rainer
92,111
Kathy Kenney
Keller Williams, Princeton, NJ - Robbinsville, NJ
Realtor - Princeton & Central NJ Homes for Sale

Glad you survived that close call!  Lose the black clothing for the summer, you'll feel and look sooooo much better!  Wouldn't hurt to take a wet, white towel with you to throw over your head.  We're all experiencing record high temps and have to take precautions!  Thanks for giving us all a "heads up"!

Jul 11, 2010 07:29 AM #70
Rainmaker
597,043
Jim Hale
ACTIONAGENTS.NET - Eugene, OR
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website

Randy -

That I know better but......is nearly universal.

Jul 11, 2010 12:06 PM #71
Rainmaker
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Jim Hale
ACTIONAGENTS.NET - Eugene, OR
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website

Don't tell your insurance agent about this one.

Jul 11, 2010 12:09 PM #72
Rainmaker
232,779
Ken Barker Realtor® GRI, E-Pro Certified
Dilbeck Real Estate - Burbank, CA

Randy,

I just dropped by and read your story. I now know why I love Calif. I can deal with the fires and the earthquakes all day long. Humidity and dehydration.

Good that you are alright. I guess it is preparedness and timing?

Jul 11, 2010 02:58 PM #73
Rainmaker
1,678,493
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

First of all, Congrats on your safe return. There are so many times we face thing such as yours and look back and think of all the tings you should have done or done differently. It pays to plan ahead and have someone with you. Everyone should plan ahead in detail before going into strange areas, and always consider the weather.

Jul 12, 2010 04:33 AM #74
Rainmaker
588,515
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

Omigosh Randy!  I am so glad you are okay.  We don't have the humidity here that you do, but it does get over 100 degrees quite a bit in the summer.  I have a cooler with bottles of water in my car when I am out previewing or showing properties in the summer, and most of my properties are not out so far from civilization. 

At least I'm glad you have decided to do things in a safer way in the future! We all worry about the safety of our families, but tend to sometimes not take the same precautions for ourselves.

Jul 12, 2010 11:34 AM #75
Rainmaker
1,037,525
Gloria Todor
Century 21 Absolute Realty - Springfield, PA
& Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA

Randy, You are really lucky to have listened to your body's distress calls.  I suffered from heat stroke only once, but I was lucky to have people around who helped me out.  I suffered for a few days after that.  

Gloria

Jul 13, 2010 05:23 PM #76
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