You’ve been hiking four days through the Appalachian Trail’s 100 Mile Wilderness. It’s raining and you and your hiking partner are moving fast to stay warm. You’re walking over a flat stretch of trail covered with interlaced tree roots when suddenly you slip and fall. You hear a dry snapping sound on the way down and the rush of pain is intense. You know right away that you broke your ankle.
Your friend helps you take off your pack and you lay there awhile struggling to get the pain under control. You pick your left leg up and your ankle dangles at an unnatural angle with the toe of your boot off to the left of center, but at least the bone isn’t sticking out through the skin.
You both dig out your cell phones and discover there’s no signal on that section of trail. Big surprise.
In your pack you have a minor first aid kit, but nothing to deal with this magnitude of injury. You check your pack and you have a tent and sleeping bag, sleeping mat, alcohol stove and about 20 ounces of fuel, food for another six or seven days, a couple quarts of water, string, poncho, knife, bungee-cords, water filter, and other assorted camping gear that any experienced hiker would carry. Your partner is carrying similar gear except for the tent.
One piece of good news is that you’re less than 100 yards from running water. It’s down a hill over some big rocks, but it’s close by.
The last road you saw was an access road about three miles back on the trail, and from there it’s about another six or ten miles to a ranger station on an old logging road.
What do you do?
This scenario isn’t exactly all made up.