News, Culture & Society

Texas hiker, 38, got lost in the Arkansas wilderness for six days

‘Ants were my nemesis’: Texas hiker, 38, who got lost in the Arkansas wilderness for six days says the inch-long insects with pincers as big as their heads were his biggest concern

  • Josh McClatchy, 38, became disorientated while hiking through the Caney Creek Wilderness region, Arkansas, and accidentally strayed off the beaten trail
  • While searching for water, food and signal were his immediate priorities, McClatchy quickly realised that ants were much more than an annoying pest 
  • ‘When it comes to the wildlife, I learned very quickly that the ants were my nemesis,’ McClatchy told ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ in an interview Friday
  • The hiker said he stuck to following streams so he knew he would have a good source of water and because of his precautions was able to escape unharmed

A Texas hiker who became stranded in rural Arkansas for six days said his fight for survival was made tougher by inch-long ants with pincers as large as their heads.

Josh McClatchy, 38, became disorientated while hiking through the Caney Creek Wilderness region, near Mena, Arkansas, and accidentally strayed off the beaten trail.

While searching for water, food and cellphone signal were his immediate priorities, McClatchy quickly realised that ants were much more than an annoying pest.

 

While searching for water, food and cellphone signal were his immediate priorities, McClatchy quickly realised that ants were much more than an annoying pest (McClatchy on another hike)

McClatchy poses in an unknown location during another hike in Arkansas

McClatchy poses in an unknown location during another hike in Arkansas

‘When it comes to the wildlife, I learned very quickly that the ants were my nemesis,’ McClatchy told ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ in an interview on Friday. 

‘Ants that were an inch long, the stinger as large as the head.’ 

He texted his mother June 1 to say he needed help, but due to poor service he couldn’t get through to her. He was reported missing by his mother the same day. 

‘When you’re in the mountains and everyone is yelling, everything echoes so you can’t tell where the original sound is coming from,’ McClatchy said. 

He texted his mother June 1 to say he needed help, but due to spotty cellphone service he couldn't reconnect with her. He was reported missing by his mother the same day

He texted his mother June 1 to say he needed help, but due to spotty cellphone service he couldn’t reconnect with her. He was reported missing by his mother the same day

‘I immediately got swarmed by ants, so I dropped everything and got out of there,’ he said. ‘When I say I got out of there, I was around the general area, just trying to avoid the ants.

‘Thankfully I was in long sleeves,’ McClatchy added. ‘That first night I learned to tuck everything in, so I had my wool socks and had my pants tucked in to my wool socks. I had long sleeves, I tucked everything in. It could have been much worse.’

McClatchy said he stuck to following streams so he knew he would have a good source of water and because of his careful precautions was lucky to escape relatively unharmed. 

McClatchy said he stuck to following streams so he knew he would have a good source of water and because of his careful precautions was lucky to escape relatively unharmed

McClatchy said he stuck to following streams so he knew he would have a good source of water and because of his careful precautions was lucky to escape relatively unharmed

Despite suffering a cut on his forehead requiring stitches and some mild dehydration but was finally able to find help and was pictured smiling and talking to emergency responders in the ambulance.  

The grateful hiker described his rescuers as ‘heroes’ and thanked the hospital staff for being ‘absolutely amazing.’ 

McClatchy, who has bipolar disorder, was without his medication for almost a week.

‘I’m in one of the best spots mentally that I’ve been in for a long time,’ he said. ‘I have an incredible support team around me and I’m fortunate because not everyone has that,’ he said. ‘My outlook is so different now, I’m so grateful.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.