Nippissing, Ontario EMS and NBFS making the rescue

Canadian geocachers rescue stranded camper in remote woods

Sunday, September 24th was supposed to be a normal weekend of geocaching with friends for mr-toye and tinytrailstwo. Little did they know that by the end of the day they would save someone’s life. Here is their story.

Nippissing, Ontario EMS and NBFS making the rescue
Nippissing, Ontario EMS and NBFS making the rescue

David (tinytrailstwo) and I (Michael – mr-toye) woke bright and early to grab an FTF, locate a previous DNF, complete a cemetery Multi-Cache, and log some trackables. You know, a typical weekend day of caching. As we headed to our next cache fate intervened. Another geocaching friend called and needed help, so we turned around, headed back home, and helped our friend. From there we decided to detour from our original course and instead went to look for Skye’s Stone (GC5850R).

Michael (mr-toye) and David (tinytrailstwo)
Michael (mr-toye) and David (tinytrailstwo)

This particular cache is in a remote area and is only accessible with a formidable 2-kilometer hike around a lake. When we arrived at ground zero, we searched for at least half an hour with no luck. We begrudgingly gave up. But while walking away, I decided to head over to the lookout I’d seen many times from the highway but never gotten close to. Good thing I did.

As we approached the lookout, a faint sound became clearer. It was someone calling for help. We continued shouting back and forth, following his voice until we found a man lying beside his tent and gear. His name was Robert. He had fallen two days earlier and couldn’t feel his legs. His cell phone had died and no one knew where he was. He was extremely dehydrated, disoriented, and panicked. He believed our voices were coming from his imagination until I touched him to reassure him we were real.

We called 911 and help was on the way, but they were unfamiliar with the trail system, so my friend David ran back to the entrance to meet them. It took about an hour and a half from first contact to when the EMS arrived. They carried him out of the woods on a spine board, through a tough hike back to the ambulance, reassuring him that he’d be alright the entire way back.

This entire day humbled me in many ways. It confirmed one of my worst fears: getting lost in the woods without a way for anyone to find me. The EMS were of top notch and extremely brave and professional. Somehow divine intervention changed our course that day and pointed us towards this remote cache and ultimately Robert. Geocaching steered us towards a much different adventure that may have saved a man’s life.

The area where they found Robert
The area where they found Robert
Joined Geocaching HQ in the fall of 2014 as Community Manager. Kind to animals. Loved by children. Excels at DNFs.
  • Galina V. Efimchuk

    Amazing story!!

  • Robert J Sochor

    How is the rescuee doing?

  • Dee Clement

    I am so very proud to be a part of the Geocaching Family let alone be a fellow Canadian who lives in Sudbury, Ontario a mere 1-1/2 hours from North Bay. You guys are definitely ANGELS……..Hopefully Robert is on the way to a full recovery.

  • JimRKY

    Definitely can second being proud to be a Geocacher due to these two fine people – and proud to be of Canadian descent. Geocachers DO make a difference! KUDOS!

  • Jolanda

    Amazing! Great job guys! <3

  • Linda Smithwick Brennan

    Wow! This is awesome.

  • all41and14all

    Way to go, guys!!!!! I’m also an Ontario geocacher…thumbs up and continue geocaching and saving lives!

  • Awesome job! We sometimes take for granted that we, even if not professional outdoors enthusiasts, have much more knowledge and capability than most people. We shouldn’t get cocky of course, but to be in a position to be able to help someone in need in a dire situation like this – geocaching is more than just a fun hobby!

  • Joel Wood

    Well done to Michael (mr-toye) and David (tinytrailstwo). Is there a geocaching medal as these two need one?! Brings a whole new meaning to FTF!

  • Elana Gibbs

    Awesome guys! You’ve earned your angel wings for sure!!!

  • Stevie Royal

    Brilliant story -)

  • Mariana E. Belli

    Qué increíble! buen final por suerte.

  • KMCRVGeocaching

    Get there dudes (as well as others in the past) a special icon or souvenir!

  • Claudia Sneigoski

    A little wet-eyed here! Can’t get the grin off my face either! Thanks be to God, Michael and David!!

  • Laura Snyder

    Awesome! I knew geocachers were a good bunch.

  • Bob Butler

    As both a geocacher and a former First Responder I can only add my congratulations to all involved in this great rescue event. The reward for the rescuers is knowing they helped a fellow human in dire distress, a feeling they will cherish for the rest of their lives. Way to go guys !

  • carbonated_turtle

    This is why you ALWAYS let someone know exactly where you’re camping or hiking and exactly when they can expect you home.

  • steve4nlanguage

    I love geocaching, and one of the reasons is experiences like this. Thank you Michael and David. Will there be an update on Robert’s condition?

  • Billie Ann Neal- Schwab

    wow… all I can say

  • Geocaching is Quite Interesting is tr any Update on future Condition?

  • skalpelx

    Great job! God bless!

  • Great story. Well, whoever blames Cachers for being a nuisance can be referred to this wonderful story by now!