Utah Treasure Hunt Prompts Advice From Rescue Crews

S. F. Mori

A valuable reminder for all hikers

The hunt for the treasure chest containing $10,000 hidden in the Utah wilderness is over. The treasure was found on July 5, 2021, by a Draper man. Hundreds of people had participated in the treasure hunt that was the idea of David Cline with help from his friend, John Maxim. The two men held a similar hunt last year to try and get people outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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A Utah canyon in the hunt area(Image is author's)

After the treasure was discovered on the 4th of July weekend, Cline told ABC4.com that he and Maxim were receiving over 1,000 messages per day from people expressing appreciation for the hunt and wanting more information on how to find the money.

Now that it’s over, Cline admits he’s happy to have the weight of hundreds of folks looking for money in the wildness off his back.

“It kind of got bigger than I anticipated and it was kind of stressing me out,” he explains. “And so, I think it was perfect. Hopefully, everyone that went out had fun and enjoyed getting outside and trying to solve the poem but yeah, for me personally, I can’t speak for John but I’m kind of relieved.”

Part of that relief must be that he might feel some responsibility for people who were so zealous in their search for the treasure that they were injured during their endeavor to find the money.

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American Fork Canyon in Utah(Image is author's)

An article by Carter Williams at KSL.com on June 28, 2021, was titled: “Rescue Tied to Hidden Treasure Prompts Warning from Utah Authorities.”

He reported that a 49 year old man suffered a foot injury while searching for the treasure. A large rock fell on his foot so he was unable to walk down the canyon on his own. His injury required that he be recued by Search and Rescue crews in the Ferguson Canyon near Cottonwood Heights.

The article said:
Two dozen search and rescue workers were dispatched, and crews helped get the man down the canyon and back to the parking lot by midnight, the agency said. But it wasn't the last they heard about the treasure, which was placed in an undisclosed location along the Wasatch Mountains between Ogden and Santaquin earlier this month.
“Our team ran into several other groups of hikers all looking for the same treasure. Most were unprepared to be in the backcountry and asked our team for water on the trail,” the agency wrote Sunday.
It’s worth pointing out that search and rescue teams all across Utah have experienced upticks in calls in recent years completely unrelated to the treasure.

The treasure related incident prompted Salt Lake County Search and Rescue officials to remind people about hiking safety. They shared the "10 essentials" for hiking put out by the National Park Service. Those are:

Navigation: Bring a map, compass and GPS system, and learn your route before you begin your hike. Learning how to use a topographical or relief map is as important as a compass.

Sun protection: Bring sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat to minimize sun exposure. Long shirts and pants also help protect against the sun.

Insulation: Bring a jacket, hat, gloves, rain shell and thermal underwear for possible changes in weather conditions.

Illumination: Bring a flashlight, lanterns and headlamp, especially at night. It's also important to pack extra batteries.

First-aid supplies: Bring a pre-made kit and update the kit to replace components that have expired.

Fire: Bring matches, lighters and fire starters to create a fire if necessary. Of course, make sure you're in an area where fires aren't banned due to drought-related measures.

Repair kit and tools: Duct tape, a knife and scissors are key components of a repair kit. A multi-tool that also includes a screwdriver and a can opener is another useful item for a repair kit.

Nutrition: Pack an extra day's supply of food. Salty and easy-to-digest snacks, such as trail mix or granola bars, are recommended.

Hydration: Bring lots of water. Drink before you feel thirsty, especially in hot weather and while you're active outdoors.

Emergency shelter: Bring a tent, space blanket, tarp and bivy in case of need.

In addition to those tips, the team encouraged people to not hike alone and to let family or friends know where they are and when to expect them back from their hiking trip.

Hiking can be a great experience in the beautiful scenery of nature. Being prepared will make it more enjoyable and safe.

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I am a retired President/CEO of civil rights organizations. I have been a Mayor and California State Assemblyman as well as a College Instructor of Economics. I have also been an entrepreneur and international business consultant. I will be sharing articles mostly about life, politics, racism, travel, health, and relationships.

Salt Lake City, UT
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