Hawaii Hiker Found Alive After Being Lost 17 Days In The Woods Says She Wasn’t Carrying A Cellphone

Amanda Eller speaks out about what she should have differently prior to getting lost in a Hawaiian jungle.

A hiker walks through fog.
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Amanda Eller speaks out about what she should have differently prior to getting lost in a Hawaiian jungle.

On May 8, a yoga instructor named Amanda Eller decided to embark upon what she planned to be a quick day hike in a Hawaiian jungle. She was alone and wanted to truly connect with nature without the distraction of modern conveniences. Thus, she left her cellphone behind. Along the way she became disoriented and veered far off the trail. She was unable to find her way back and became badly lost for 17 days. Miraculously, she was found alive. Although she was dehydrated, sustained a knee injury, swollen foot, and broken leg, she is grateful to be able to tell her story. On Tuesday, she spoke out in a candid interview, during which she explained what she should have done differently, according to CNN.

Eller recognized that her major mistake was leaving her phone behind. If she hadn’t done so, she likely could have used it as a valuable resource to get her bearings and find her way back to her car. She also warned other hikers that it is best to go into your journey being over prepared rather than being sorry later.

“I should have had a cellphone with me. There’s a reason we carry them all the time. It’s a friendly jungle, there’s not much that’ll get ya. But still, be prepared.”

She also cleared up any rumors that she was on any mind-altering substances when she began the hike. Eller clarified that she has no need for drugs or alcohol because the excitement she gets from experiencing the outdoors is enough for her. But she’s not letting the public’s theories of what happened get to her.

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“I get high off of life, and I get high off of people and heart. Everybody can have their little theories,” she said.

However, it’s the way that Eller reportedly got lost in the first place that has people confused. She said that has an internal feeling that guides her when making decisions. She was trusting that feeling or “voice” to guide her in the correct direction. Unfortunately, the voice was not very helpful and didn’t bring her back to safety, but only led her further and further away.

“My heart was telling me, ‘Walk down this path, go left,’ Great. ‘Go right.’ It was so strong — ‘Go left, go right’ — I’m like, great, this is so strong that obviously when I turn around and go back to my car it will be just as strong when I go back, but it wasn’t.”