Tennessee Couple Missing in Alaska for More Than a Week Found Safe


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A Tennessee couple, reported missing near Fairbanks, Alaska, last week, was found safe on Friday.

Jonas Bare, 50, and Cynthia Hovsepian, 37, were reported missing by local authorities last week after failing to check out of their accommodations following a hike.

The couple were found safe on Friday, more than a week after going missing near Fairbanks, Alaska.

The two hikers had become lost and disorientated in the Alaskan wilderness during what had been intended to be a short hike on a normal, regulated trail. 

They were discovered by Alaska Wildlife Troopers approximately two miles away from where their car was parked.

The couple is now in a local hospital, and with luck, their recovery will be quick, complete, and uneventful.

Mr. Bare and Ms. Hovsepian had been staying at the Chena Hot Springs Resort, east of Fairbanks. We’re familiar with the area; the Chena Hot Springs are open year-round, and are a great place to sit in the hot water and watch the auroras in winter. It’s a beautiful, scenic area with ample wildlife, and the hot springs resort attracts a lot of tourists. It’s also a little more refined than some of our other Alaska summer traditions.

It’s unclear what this Tennessee couple had with them by way of equipment, but the fact that they got lost says that they probably didn’t have all they should have had; and while getting lost in Tennessee may be one thing, getting lost in Alaska is quite another. In this part of Alaska, if you strike out in the wrong direction, you can literally walk for hundreds of miles without crossing a road or encountering another human being.

People who are going into the ‘bush.’ the Alaska backcountry, even for a short hike, would be well advised to have the following on hand:

  • A compass and waterproof map (a hand-held GPS is great but a compass and map will never have a battery go dead)
  • Stout boots, well broken-in
  • Warm clothing that can be layered to adapt to changing temperatures
  • A rain jacket or poncho that can go over other clothing
  • An emergency blanket
  • A good first-aid kit
  • A major-caliber sidearm or, barring that, bear spray
  • Rope, to hang your packs and provisions out of the reach of bears
  • Waterproof matches and kindling
  • A good book on edible plants, berries, and so on

A flare pistol isn’t the worst idea, either.

August in Alaska isn’t like August in the Lower 48. Weather can go from sunny and highs nearing 75 to rain and temps in the 40s rather quickly, and that’s a recipe for hypothermia unless you have the proper gear. It’s wild in Alaska, and besides remote places, vast stretches of wilderness, and unpredictable weather, there are other challenges one must be prepared for. And if you find yourself lost, build a fire, sit still, and wait to be found. Don’t try the old “three shots in the air” trick, either, as gunshots don’t generally draw much notice in the Alaskan backcountry.

This Tennessee couple was fortunate. They hadn’t gone far from their last known location and seemed to have the good sense to sit still and wait to be found. But some people haven’t been so fortunate. People disappear into the bush almost every year up here and many are never found. Like the mountains, like the sea, Alaska can kill you very easily if you are unprepared for the challenges, and if you lack the respect the remote parts of the Great Land demand.

With a modicum of preparation, though, Alaska is a land of wonders.

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Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

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