Adding this article... seems like it gives a lot of insight that I haven't read elsewhere.
So what are the do's and don't of surviving in the cold?
I have no idea, but maybe here's some things I learned just from watching the news.
1) Burn tires - you might not think about that, but yes burn em. Burn anything you can. But maybe burn em during the day. I'm not sure what the Kim's did, but I'm pretty sure rubber gives out some dark smoke. I've once burned some paper in a backyard, just a little of it, and black smoke rose in a fury.
2) Stay with the car - It's all hindsight, and who knows who desperate they felt. James is a brave dude with stones of steel. 8 miles in the cold. That's a tough guy. If you go, I guess you need to be superwarm and will need lots of water for sure. It seemed the news talked a lot about him not having a hat and gloves. Only go if you have a hat. I guess you do have to think about where you're gonna sleep too if you're hiking away.
3) If you do hike away, I guess you need to leave markers so you can find your way back. If it snows, then the terrain will look different in a hurry. This is all sounding difficult as I explain it. I'm not sure if I could do this myself... But in a pinch, even what seemed like a guy who couldn't do it, did it and worked his way through tough terrain.
4) I remember the hunger strike at UCLA, they drank water but no food, I think they went a couple of weeks and I happened to know one guy who said he had no permanent damage to his body.
5) Cell phone. I guess even if there's no signal, try making calls, it seems like it reaches a tower anyway. That's how they started locating the Kim's. Keep that cellphone going. Maybe try it once a day maybe twice. Who knew!? The weird thing is how did the folks flying at 500mph way up in the air in a hijacked plane make a bunch of calls? But you can't get a cell in rural Oregon. Cellphone technology is confusing.
6) Use the mirrors from your cars to reflect light.
7) I'm not sure if starting a forest fire is a good idea, it's probably a terrible one, but I think people have done this before when they were lost.
8) Stay on the road? Who knows why Mr Kim left the road, maybe he had to... but try to stay on the road.
9) Maybe tell folks where you intend to go. What roads etc. Trusting online maps, might not be a good idea. I heard the road they took was a logging road. It seemed that not one car went in that path for the week. That's insane. It's hard to suggest everyone spend money on GPS, but it's a way to go.
Thinking about this is depressing, and although I almost feel like this has become a list of what he should have done, who knows, maybe it'll help just one person. If you have other tips, go ahead and comment.