If only every missing hiker story turned out like this one.
Every year hikers, campers, fishermen and hunters unfortunately go missing in nature all over the world. In many cases, these stories have sad endings, or at the very least, result in a traumatic ordeal or significant injuries for people who find themselves in an unexpected survival situation.
And then there is 80-year-old Harry Harvey, who recently spent four days missing in Yorkshire Dales National Park in England. Harvey's family was all set to hold a press conference asking the public for help when the missing man unexpectedly showed up just as it was about to start!
While the experienced hiker did notice circling helicopters and a search team in the distance, he didn't realize they were there looking for him. In fact, he shrugged off the attention as the news conference instead shifted focus onto how he had survived.
"If I'd have known, I wouldn't have come back, not here," Harvey said to reporters. "I could do without all this."
You can see the entire press conference in the video below. It's quite humorous if you have a few minutes. The interview starts at around the four-minute mark.
The Washington Post reports Harvey became separated from a friend on September 5 after strong winds and a hailstorm hit. He was officially reported as missing the next day. Search and rescue teams, helicopters and dog crews battle poor weather conditions to respond to the incident. Harvey was finally located after flagging down a nature photographer on September 8 for help. From there he was taken to the press conference, which took on a decidedly different tone from what everyone had been expecting.
Due to adverse weather conditions and the man's advanced age, many were not hopeful for a happy ending to this story. Rescuers credit Harvey's experience and preparation as being key in his survival. In fact, the best part of this story may be how Harvey joked to reporters about how much he enjoyed the experience.
"I had three really good, wild camping nights where I was on my own, and had all the kit I needed," Harvey said. "The only thing I was getting a bit short of, I've got a hell of an appetite, and when I get hungry, I've got to have something to eat or I cannot go anywhere."
This incident is an excellent example of the importance of survival and camping gear for any sort of hiking activities in the outdoors. In fact, the only injury Harvey suffered through the whole ordeal was a bump on the head during a fall in a stream. A large bandage covered his head as he reunited with his son Phil and daughter-in-law at the Tan Hill Inn.
The press conference took a humorous turn when Phil joked that his father was grounded and "wouldn't be going anywhere now."
"I've just bought some new boots," Harvey said in response. When his son suggested Harvey could use the boots for lawn bowling, the 80-year-old hiker shrugged off that suggestion in equally humorous fashion.
"No thanks, it's an old man's game," Harvey said.