Lost hiker reveals how he survived in the wilderness for 10 days with just a knife

He was re-united with his family after a rescue party found him (Picture: SLV Steve)

A hiker who went missing for 10 days in remote mountains has been found alive despite having no water, being chased by a lion, and not telling anyone where he was going.

Lukas McClish, 34, set out on a three-hour walk through Big Basin Redwoods State Park in California, two weeks ago, and was only found by search teams after he was heard shouting for help.

The experienced hiker did not tell anyone where he was going and only took a few supplies with him, including a pair of pants and hiking shoes.

He also only had a flashlight, some scissors, and a Leatherman tool with him.

McClish said he was ‘astounded’ that he got lost – and so quickly, with the alarm only raised by his parents when he failed to turn up for lunch on Father’s Day on June 16 – five days after he set off.

Before he was rescued on June 20, he spent nine nights and 10 days – shirtless – foraging for himself as he drank water from the creek, ate wild berries and slept on wet leaves, losing around 2.5st (30lbs) in weight.

On day eight he came down with hypothermia and slipped while going over a rock face, with rangers hearing his screams two days later.

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Lukas McClish was found after he survived with just the bare essentials for 10 days in the Californian forest (Picture: SLV Steve)

Lukas was reduced to tears after he said he didn’t know if he would make it (Picture: SLV Steve)

Lukasv went missing for 10 days after taking on the hike by himself (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

A rescue team of more than 300 people were hunting for the walker (Picture: San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit)

He had been shouting ‘Help, help, I’m over here’ for 48 hours before a search party using drones and a dog found him.

Speaking after the rescue, McClish told the New York Times: ‘That’s one thing I didn’t take into consideration – when the fire comes through like that and decimates it, it turns into the desert and you’re unable to find your bearings.’

‘I’m an avid backpacker, so for me to go out for a night or two is not out of the norm.’

On the first cold night McClish tried to build himself a camp – but the brush he used to start a fire was wet. He then hiked across a canyon for better shelter, and the next day set out to find a stream he thought would be nearby.

He told the WDBJ: ‘So I just kind of hiked. Each day I go up a canyon, down a canyon, to the next waterfall, drank water out of my boot.’

‘I felt comfortable every time I was out there,’ he said. ‘I wasn’t worried about it.’

‘I had a mountain lion that was following me, but it was cool,’ McClish added. ‘It kept its distance.

‘I think it was just somebody watching over me.’

But by day five, McClish started to grow concerned – and tried to find a way back to civilization.

He said: ‘I knew if I kept following the sun, I’d get to the ocean eventually, but I didn’t know how far from the ocean I was.’

Meanwhile, his family began to worry when he did not show up for Father’s Day, and filed a missing person’s report.

That sparked a massive manhunt, involving nearly 300 people and emergency personnel from several agencies.

He told local news outlets that he survived by drinking water from creeks and waterfalls out of his boot and eating wild berries.(Picture: Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office)

The team sent out drones and heard Luasz screaming for help after he fell down some rocks (Picture: San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit)

His mother, Diane McClish, told WDBJ: ‘Some nights, although I just had to trust God that he was going to be OK – and that was hard to do some nights, when we would go to bed at night, because I would worry about where he was, where he was sleeping, how cold he was and where he was if he was alive.’

At the same time, McClish said he kept dreaming about his next meal and said all he could think of was a burrito or a taco bowl.

He said: ‘That’s what I thought about every day when I, after the first five days, when I started to kind of realize that I might be in over my head.’

Finally, at around 7.30pm on Thursday, two park rangers were making their way up a hill and heard McClish’s screams. He said: ‘I’m thinking, I hope this isn’t a mirage.’

But the Boulder Creek Fire Department soon deployed a drone and spotted him, while a dog tracked him down.

McClish spent Thursday night safely at a local hospital, where doctors removed rocks from his back.

He said his awful experience isn’t going to stop him climbing but admitted: ‘I did enough hiking for probably the whole rest of the year.’

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