"he lost 16 pounds as a result of the frozen Coors diet"
Wow, these Coors Light sure work a treat!
An Alaskan man who ill-advisedly went for a drive without adequate emergency supplies and got stuck in a snow drift was obliged to subsist for three days on nothing more than frozen cans of beer. Clifton Vial left Nome, on the Bering Sea, in his Toyota Tacoma last Monday night for a quick jaunt north. Some 40 miles (64km) from …
Sounds like a fate worse than death...
Also, winter emergency gear should stay in the vehicle all winter. Never take it out!
(I have an old Army-type kapok-filled sleepingbag, chemical hand warmers, chemlights,a couple of foil blankes, glowes and other stuff, too. all stuffed into a big bag. Kapok, not just because it was cheap, but also because it still works if it gets wet... )
Indeed, only an idiot would have
1) taken all the emergency gear out,
2) bought Coors Light, and
3) (according to the linked news site) "climbed into the cab of his Toyota Tacoma Monday night in Nome to see how far a road winding to the north would take him" in ALASKA !!! at the end of FRIKKIN NOVEMBER !!!!
He knew what to do and how to do it. Sure, he made a mistake, don't we all, but once he knew he was stuck, he followed the survival guide as best he could and he hung on.
As far as luck was concerned, I'd say he had a string of bad luck. First, he didn't think to take the necessary precautions, knowing the dangers. Second, he got stuck out of mobile phone range. Third, his coworkers didn't get around to seriously worry about him until Tuesday, instead of Monday afternoon.
He survived the ordeal not because he was lucky, but because he had the training to deal with it - even on a bare minimum of resources.
His one bit of luck was most likely the fact that the temperatures were not in the -40°C.
Of course, most of the rest of us would probably have ended up as a popsicle, even with top-notch gear.
I don't understand your downvotes. The journey might have been ill-judged however his reason given might not be the whoke truth, family away, surprise trip to his mistress, what's he going to say? Lame excuse but often they are the best.
Once in trouble he did the right thing as best he could.
I always thought Canada and the UK were pretty different,but going out with a slab of tinnies and a knife is pretty much normal in the UK too!
Although on the other hand going out in the UK with all that gear you have in the boot would likely get you nicked for going to a terrorist training camp. No bugger else is that well equipped in Blighty. If you've got GPS and a total inability to read a map you're set for going up a mountain (apparently)
I think you'll find the chap involved was American, in an American state. Canada does not have ocean-front on the Bering Sea.
Speaking as a Canadian, my vehicle always, always had emergency supplies, modified for the season. Even summer in the muskeg of northern Alberta can be a dangerous place. Ah, happy days...
First, bear in mind that I am neither physicist nor physician, but I wouldn't wonder that his body was actually burning more calories melting the frozen low-cal beer than were *IN* the beer.
It may have given him a feeling of fullness and a (slight) alcohol buzz, which may have given him some sense of well-being and kept his blood pressure down, but since eating the icy beer would have lowered his core temperature -- causing his body to work harder to warm it back up, which is why survival guides recommend against eating snow (of any color) as a way of assuaging thirst in an emergency situation -- AND opened his capillaries -- making his skin surface FEEL warmer but radiating body heat away in the process -- my guess is that he survived in SPITE of the beer, rather than BECAUSE of it.
If the coors had frozen in the cans and he had to dig it out with a knife the inside of the car must have been well below zero.
(Given that the alcohol in the beer will have lowered it's freezing point)
he spent 3 days sat in a below freezing car with minimal insulation ?
The cold would have got him and he'd be dead, much more likely he ran the engine for 3 days with the heater on to keep warm (hence the lack of fuel when found) and he embelished the story with frozen beer and only turning the engine on once a day (even though it was only on for 23 Hours 45 mins)
Given that the freezing point of a 5% beer is ~ -4.5 C a guesstimate would put Coors Light (3.5% gnat's piss IIRC) at about -3.1 C. That's based on the freezing point of water being reduced by 1.8 C per mole of additional substance. Apparently the carbonation makes a difference but it's definitely possible to completely freeze real beer in a household freezer that which runs in at about -17 C. Even extremely gassy near beer should freeze at a much higher temperature than that. That's pure guesstimation as I've had a few too many tonight to do the maths correctly!
As it's Nome in November I have no idea how cold it actually was but I'd assume that "quite parky" comes close. Actually, the guy sounds very lucky that he had any ethanol as the calorific value is quite high. If it had been a case of A N Other soft drink he'd probably have lost even more weight.
"If the coors had frozen in the cans and he had to dig it out with a knife the inside of the car must have been well below zero."
Careful reading of the article reveals that the gent in question was driving a Toyota Tacomah, which is not a car, it's a pickup truck. One potential possibility, then, is that the beer was being carried in the back, in which case it'd be quite frozen regardless of the temperature inside the car. And if that's the case, even bringing it into the cab wouldn't allow it to melt if he was only running the engine the bare minimum necessary, as it takes quite a long time for frozen cans of beer to melt*. Even assuming their starting temperature is only as cold as a normal freezer** rather than, say, the temperature of Arctic winter.
* Don't ask me how I know this.
** Or, err, so I 've heard. Yeah, that's it.
A normal domestic freezer (think fridge-freezer combo) will easily freeze "heavies" (5% abv) solid in the space of a few hours. These normally run at around -20C. It states it was -25C outside and like not a great deal warmer inside the vehicle especially if he was conserving fuel - seems he didn't really have enough in the first place as idling doesn't use much.
I'm wondering why he didn't use his car differently. It has 4 things that burn for a long time giving off a trail of smoke easily detectable at long range.
Shovel and newspapers (isolation) pluss extra gas, 100% required in winter. A snow hole would have kept him warmer....
Skol to him though for living through it :) Multiple days shivering in cold is no fun I'm sure.
Maybe he had the beer in the back of the truck. I know it's a strange concept, but a lot of Americans like their beer cold (as opposed to the European tendency to drink warm beer). And, keeping the beer in the back of the truck, when it was 25 below, would insure that it was quite well chilled. Plus, you can fit a lot more cases of beer in the back of a truck than you can in the cab.
P.S. Now, where did I put my towel?
Seems like every town of 5,000 population has it's own brew pub, when the proprietor conjures up a selection of locally brewed beer... actual beer rather than Coors Light horse piss... Most of them, or at least the ones I've been able to try, have been pretty decent. Even those in the heart of the "wine country".
I'll still take wine over beer when I have a choice, but since El Reg doesn't give me a choice, I'll have a glass of ale.
and load some proper (German) beer. Would have been more nourishing and surely far more fun than the substitute the poor guy brought along.
And why didn't he thaw the beer within his clothes? I know the 'mericans regularly overdo it when it comes to cooling drinks, but chewing sounds a bit extreme. Although with Coors light, the trick might be to swallow before the stuff thaws.
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