Man found after 10 days in California woods tells how he survived | US News

Lukas McClish had planned a three-hour hike before he got lost. He said while he was away he drank water from streams, ate wild berries and slept on a bed of wet leaves – and was pursued by a mountain lion.

Saturday, June 22, 2024, 12:44 p.m., United Kingdom

A man has been found after being lost in a California forest for 10 days.

Lukas McClish, 34, was last seen on the morning of June 11 near Big Basin Redwood State Park, about 14 miles north of Santa Cruz.

According to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office, he was reported missing on June 16.

Photo: San Mateo County Fire Department

The sheriff's office said it received several reports from witnesses who heard someone screaming for help.

The police then used several drones to determine the exact location of Mr McClish.

State park rangers were the first to spot him, and firefighters helped bring him to safety on Friday.

Mr McClish was just going for a three-hour hike before work when he got lost, he told local media.

“I didn't bring anything because I thought I was going to make a three-hour hike to work,” he said.

When Mr McClish got lost, he said he only had a flashlight and a pair of folding scissors with him.

“So I just hiked,” he added. “Every day I go up a ravine, down a ravine to the next waterfall, sit by the waterfall and drink water from my boot.”

Photo: San Mateo County Fire Department

Mr McClish said he felt “comfortable the whole time I was out there” and “wasn't worried about it”.

“A mountain lion was chasing me, but that was cool,” he added. “He kept his distance. I think it was just someone watching out for me.”

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Mr McClish drank water from streams, ate wild berries and slept on a bed of wet leaves while screaming for help.

He said, “I want a burrito or a taco bowl. That's what I was thinking about every day when I realized after the first five days that maybe I had overdone it.”

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Mr McClish suffered no serious injuries and was reunited with his family.

“This was truly a team effort with the best outcome we could have hoped for,” the sheriff's office said.

Anna Harden

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