Every once and a while, some [del]dumb hick[/del] dumb tourist will decide to take a short hike across the lava fields. With no frame of reference, once they have traveled a good deal into the middle of the barren lava field, they tend to literal walk in circles. It could have been worse some thrill seekers go and look at the lava shelves.
Never leave home without your trusty GPS ( and some spare batteries ). Don’t forget to waypoint your car before you head down the trail.
I don’t know if GPS can correct for stupid though. Hiking in a VOLCANO park? Alone? And you live thousands of miles away and are on vacation? If he had died, the Darwin awards people would have had a new candidate.
A compass would do, as long as you remembered what direction you were going when you first entered the fields.
Even with all the tech it’d still be pretty stupid. Lava rocks are very brittle as well as very sharp. Empty lava tubes lay just below your feet and you could easily fall through the roof.
Back in 1991 we were up on Mauna Loa watching the eclipse and I stepped into the field to take a leak. I was just 20 feet away from the road and my classmates I couldn’t see anything but lava. Nor could I hear them. Thankfully I have a good memory.\
I’m impressed that someone actually “…thanked everyone involved in the search” instead of thanking god or Jesus.
I lived on da Big Island, and visited that park quite a few times. I’m trying to figure out how you could get lost for 5 days there. It’s not THAT big a place…