3 people who started living in nature after watching Youtube videos die

Three family members, aged 42, 41 and 14, who were inspired by YouTube and wanted to live in the wilderness, died from lack of food and cold.

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Most of us have heard of the movie Into The Wild. Sean Penn's movie, which was nominated for 2 Oscars, was about the real life of Christopher McCandless who wanted to live in the wild. At the end of the movie, Christopher, who went to Alaska and became very weak, died when he accidentally ate poisonous herbs.

A similar situation happened to a family in Colorado in the United States. A group of three people died of malnutrition and cold while trying to live away from modern life in the wild.

The bodies found last July in Gunnison National Park in Colorado, USA, were identified as those of Christine Vance, 41, her sister Rebecca Vance, 42, and her 14-year-old son. According to NBC News, the family members had decided to live in the area only after being influenced by social media videos and had no previous experience of camping or living in the wilderness.

The autopsy revealed that all three family members were malnourished and suffered from hypothermia (exposure to extreme cold temperatures). The 14-year-old boy weighed only 18 kilograms at the time of his death.

The pandemic was effective, they were only affected by Youtube videos

Trevala Jara, half-brother of one of the deceased, Rebecca Vance, said that his sister was worried about the state of the post-Covid-19 world and that this was the reason for her decision to live in the wilderness.

Rebecca Vance, her brother and son had no experience of living in the wild. The family watched hundreds of YouTube videos and made some preparations. Other family members objected and said they did not have enough experience. Half-brother Jara even asked the group of three to live in a family chalet for a certain period of time to gain experience of life in the wild. However, Rebecca Vance and other family members ignored this advice.

The family members had not been heard from since October 2022. However, a group of hikers came across a body on the side of the trail in July, nearly 9 months later. Looking inside a nearby tent, the campers found two more bodies inside and immediately reported the incident to the police.

They did not have enough supplies to survive in the wild

Investigators said the family had tried to build a half-tent, half-hut shelter but failed to finish it before the winter began. Colorado, a state in the interior of the US, is known to have harsh and snowy winters.

Authorities say that in order to completely disconnect from modern life and live in the wilderness, a fixed accommodation, a generator and a gas cylinder for heating or cooking are essential. Of course, it is also essential to have a stock of food and drink. Of course, other essential items such as knives, axes, matches and cooking utensils are also very important. The Vance family did not have any of these items and did not have adequate shelter for the winter.

The coroner, Dr. Michael Barnes, said: "They took a lot of books on outdoor survival and foraging with them. But their preparation was as if there was a grocery store nearby where they could buy food. It is very sad that they lost their lives by being exposed to harsh natural conditions."

Surviving in nature is not as easy as social media videos

This tragic incident illustrates the dangers of trying to live in the wilderness far from the city without adequate preparation and survival skills.

Summer or winter, whatever the climate, the most important thing is to find shelter before setting out. There are perhaps hundreds of thousands of videos on social media of people building houses, hunting, cooking and foraging in the wild. But the reality is not at all what it seems. Videos, especially on Youtube, can be educational on many subjects. However, it is important to keep in mind that the people who upload these videos have a lot of experience living in nature. For example, someone who can make a shelter for themselves in a video has many skills about survival in nature. 

One person commented after the incident was exposed: "Just spending the winter at high altitude in a cozy hut with a big pile of wood, electricity, enough supplies and a truck is hard enough in itself. These poor people had no idea what they were up against. People who did not grow up surrounded by nature have no idea of the difficulties of survival. Ancient people only lived off the land because game, fish and food were much more abundant and they had more experience. But it was still a very difficult life."

Editor: Albert Owen