McDonald, 68, liked to camp. While he didn’t have a lot of food, he had gallon jugs of water, a jack for his truck and chains on his tires. Mueller said the Oregon man didn’t have a compass, a cell phone or a GPS device.
The story goes on to say he ran out of food approximately a month into the ordeal. Having a month worth of food is really quite good. But here is the kicker:
It would later surprise searchers that McDonald, just three miles (five kilometers) from the town of Marion Forks, made no attempt to get out and walk to town.
Had he known where he was, he could have walked out, even in winter weather. That was a fundamental and fatal error. For someone experienced in outdoor living to not have a map, compass, communication device or GPS, that is just being unprepared. Or, being prepared to possibly die if luck turned against him. And the weather did turn against him and he paid the ultimate price for failing to prepare.