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Duo completes wilderness 'Hike for Survival'

October 12, 2010 | 12:15 pm


Wilderness survival expert Thomas Coyne and international stuntwoman Ky Furneaux achieved their goal, completing their 100-plus mile "Hike for Survival." The duo traveled from their official starting point at the Kaweah River Reservoir in Central California's Sierra Nevada to the Mojave Desert in just 10 days.

"It was the toughest challenge I've ever faced," said Coyne, founder of the Survival Training School of California. "I thought I reached my limits, and managed to push past them time and time again on this trip. The amazing environment I was in combined with the amazing partner I had, really helped me press on when the going got tough and I feel more confident in the wilderness than ever."

The twosome set out with little more than pocket knives and packs filled with cameras and other technical gear, living off the land and relying on nature for finding food, water and shelter.

"It was harder than I ever dreamed it would be," said Furneaux. "By Day 3 I didn’t know if I could make it. There was less food in season than we thought, the hiking was extreme and we had very little sleep with some nights below freezing. It was also a more incredible adventure than I ever imagined it would be."

Furneaux, an international stuntwoman based in Hollywood, will next appear in the feature films "Thor" and "Tron: Legacy" and is working on "Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides."

Coyne and Furneaux faced serious weather changes from intense heat during the day to freezing temperatures at night. There were days the team survived on less than 500 calories from foraged food.

"With only a handful of berries and some thistle roots, some days the miles seemed like an impossible task," said Furneaux. "But Thomas’ knowledge of plants kept us going with strange combinations like boiled stinging nettle and roasted wild onions. Though I’m not going to lie, I constantly dreamt of bagels and cream cheese"

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Ky Furneaux and Thomas Coyne stop for a photo using their camera's timer during their "Hike for Survival."


Duo ready to set out on 125-mile 'Hike for Survival'