How Does a 71-Year-Old Women Survive 6 Days in the Wilderness?

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. And 71-year-old Sajean Geer is certainly one of them. When Geer’s husband passed away several months ago, she knew she had to honor his legacy in the best way possible. Since his favorite place was the Olympic National Park in Washington state, that’s exactly where she headed to scatter his ashes.

Washington park

After arriving with her car and her beloved chihuahua, Yoda, she set off for the quick excursion. Little did she know, it would be almost one full week later until she would finally leave the Washington wilderness.

The twist and turns

While searching for the perfect spot for her husband to rest, Geer expectedly became emotional which caused her to become disorientated and overwhelmed. It was not long until the realization dawned on her: she was totally and utterly lost, with no trails, people, or cars in sight. In her own words: “I couldn’t find my car, I couldn’t find the road and I got really disorientated.”

sajeen gareer

I know I were in her situation, I would have given up right there and then and found myself a comfortable spot to spend my next few living hours. But this 71-year-old is one of a kind. Rather than giving up, Geer made the decision- she had to survive until she got rescued and with that she knew “OK, I’m gonna do this”.

Geer’s survival advice

Luckily, Geer knew a thing or two about surviving in the wilderness from a survival guide she once read. What stuck out for her the most was the advice that claimed the most important thing to survive is “a positive mental attitude and a fighting spirit that you’ll live through this” and this is exactly the attitude Geer, as well as Yoda took on.

After 6 days of munching on berries and pine needles, making herself shelter, finding a water source and even snacking on ants, her and Yoda were eventually rescued.

sajeen gareer and dog

As soon as her family noticed she was missing, they had alerted the police who had sent out search parties and had been looking for days.  One helicopter doing an air search spotted Geer getting into the water. After waving her hands wildly, the helicopter noticed her and brought her back to safety. As Geer remembers “I start waving my hands as much as possible and I go, ‘Please see me, please see me,’”

When she was taken to a hospital straight after for an assessment all Geer had to show for those 6 days in the wild was minor dehydration, and a few scratches.

Geer taught the entire world two very important lessons that day. Firstly, we should be doing just about anything for the legacy of our loved ones. And two, we should all be half as positive and capable as this heroic  71-year-old Sajean Gear.

About the author

Yaffa Abadi

Twenty-one years old, with green eyes, pretty good teeth and currently venturing through Philosophy and Literature degree. But all that is semantics.
What’s important to know is that I have a passion for creative writing, reading and travelling and a love for deep ideas, deep people and deep tubs of ice cream.