13 of the Wildest & Craziest Camping Disaster Stories

Winter camping can be beautiful and peaceful in a way a bustling summer season often isn’t, especially in the backcountry, but two people well-prepared with skis, snowshoes, and winter gear in 2002 found themselves in dire straits when trapped on a lake that became a mix of ice, slush, and meltwater from a roiling combination of unseasonably warm weather, a thunderstorm, and a resurgence of cold, windy winter weather. “We crunch across the ice for a while. But soon there’s no crunch, just a mush … Brian steps and the rotten ice gives way,” David Sommerstein recalled of the long, treacherous walk to safety.

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