Mushroom picker goes missing in northern B.C.
North Shore Rescue says people need to go into the wilderness prepared and mushroom pickers are among the worst offenders for venturing into the woods without the right equipment. (FILE PHOTO)
Several hundred meters from where he was dropped off earlier this week Lyle Martin’s backpack was found and he was nowhere to be seen.
The 61-year-old was in the Fort Nelson area for a mushroom picking camp and was taken to an area on an ATV where he was meant to be collected later that same day.
Since then, there has been no trace of the man from the Chase, B.C. area other than his backpack carrying some provisions he’d brought for his mushroom hunt.
“What I understand is he was equipped with the necessities for a one-day excursion,” said RCMP spokeswoman Const. Lesley Smith. “He has advance hunting, fishing, back-country skills.”
Martin is the second mushroom picker to go missing in the wilderness. Late last month, another man was found unconscious and hypothermic by rescue crews near Anahim Lake in northern B.C.
North Shore Rescue spokesman Tim Jones said mushroom pickers generally don’t head into the wilderness prepared. He added they often want to save as much room as they can for the fungi they’ve picked and therefore don’t pack essential gear — such as flashlights — when they head out.
“They tend to be focused on finding mushrooms, they’re not really aware of routes or trails,” he said.
Jones said there is “10 essentials” people must bring into the wilderness and they also must consider their fitness level.
“You should have water and Gatorade,” he said. “Water has everything to do with your body’s ability to perform.”
He pointed out another mistake people often make is using their cell phone for looking at maps or GPS, which runs down the battery rendering the phone useless when they become lost.
The 10 essentials are listed on northshorerescue.com