The Most Amazing Real Life Wilderness Survival Stories

Colby Coombs, Survives Avalanche

Back in 1992, a young man, Colby Coombs, was vacationing in Alaska with a couple of his buddies, where they decided to attempt climbing Mount Foraker. Just before reaching their goal, a storm began brewing. They probably wouldn't have been thrown off by a little nasty weather, but the mountain was—an avalanche slammed into the group and carried them 800 feet down the mountain. Amazingly, Coombs survived, but his friends did not. He was badly injured and had several broken bones, but he had an incredible will to survive. Over the next four days he climbed down the mountain, painstakingly slowly. He eventually made it back to civilization and survived to tell his insane story. See the picture above? That's Mount Foraker.

Juliane Koepcke, Survives Airplane Crash And 10 Days In the Amazon Jungle

Juliane Kepcke was just a teenager when the airplane taking her to meet with her father in Peru. The Lockheed Electra airplane wasn't going to make it though—after hitting an unpredicted and extreme storm, the airplane didn't just crash, it began to come apart mid-air. One moment she was looking out the window at the wing—which was on fire—and the next, she was airborne. Some hours later, the 17 year old girl woke up in the Amazon, still in her airplane seat. She had a fractured collarbone, a few cuts and bruises, and couldn't see out of one eye—but she was determined to make it out alive. After 10 days of following water sources in the hopes of finding another person, she was finally found by a group of hunters, who took her back to civilization. She was the only survivor of the plane crash.

William Jeracki, Survives by Cutting off His Own Leg

William Jeracki was 38 years old in 1993, when he decided to spend a day peacefully fishing outside of Denver. Things took a turn for the worse when he accidentally dislodged a large boulder, which crushed one of his legs. Nobody knew where he was, and he knew that if he didn't get out from under that rock, he was going to die. So he tied off his leg with some fishing line and, with a tiny pocketknife, cut his own leg off. Amazingly, he didn't pass out from what must have been excruciating pain—he ultimately severed the leg, crawled back to his truck (a stick shift, of course), and drove himself to the closest town. Tragically, he hasn't yet been given an award for “Manliest Amputee On the Planet” just yet.

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