Recreational and outdoor fitness activities are incredibly popular. Millions of people just cringe-watched Free Solo and merely viewing something that jaw-dropping can be inspiring. The global wellness industry is worth an equally jaw-dropping $3.7 trillion, a large portion of which includes outdoor training programs. These outdoor training skills, however, are rarely applied in true survival situations, let alone by children.
Some 11 million people report they enjoy skateboarding on a regular basis. An extreme enough sport, we understand the draw, but these two girls upped the ante as far as extreme skills are concerned. The two youngsters in question are alive this very moment because of a wilderness survival program they probably thought they’d never have to use. Sisters Caroline and Leia Carrico — ages 5 and 8 — got lost in a rugged area of California where they live. Being familiar enough with the woods surrounding their home, they wandered in a little too deep and got lost. Really lost. In a horrifying turn of events that no parent ever wants to experience, the girls were reported missing to local authorities. That was on a Friday evening.
The search continued for 24 hours, then crossed 36 hours. Then a tale that so often has a terrible ending concluded at hour 44 when the two girls were found 1.4 miles away from their house, taking shelter beneath a bush. During the nearly two days lost in the forest, the sisters applied outdoor survival skills they learned from 4-H wilderness training.
They spent two nights in the forest, eating granola bars they brought with them, taking shelter under a bush. They reportedly drank rainwater that ran off leaves from the bush they were using for shelter and shared one rain jacket for a blanket as overnight temperatures dipped close to freezing. The girls knew they bit off a little more than they could chew when they went off on their own after their mother told them she wasn’t feeling up for a walk.
“This was rugged territory, this is an extreme environment and how they were out there for 44 hours is pretty amazing but it shows a resilience of people that actually grew up in this community. These girls definitely have a survival story to tell,” said Humboldt County Sherriff William Honsal.
Once found, they were in good health apart from being dehydrated and cold. This was quickly remedied in the hospital where they munched happily on some hot pizza. In a world that has more than 3.74 billion internet users constantly connected to one another, these girls found themselves utterly alone off the grid and made survival decisions that many adults aren’t capable of.
“My sister cried the whole night so I told her to think happy thoughts of our family,” said Leia, the older of the two girls.
Happy thoughts and the smart, practical application of valuable skills certainly came through to aid the girls in an otherwise unforgiving environment.
“They did the right thing. They saved each other. I’m the proudest mom. I raised superheroes,” said their relieved, overjoyed mother after they were safely rescued.
To be honest, superheroes might even learn a thing or two from the Carrico sisters. The two girls, on the other hand, might be limiting the reach of their hikes in the future.