Hikers' skills aided survival in Montana wilds

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) -- Rangers in Montana's Glacier National Park say two hikers from the East Coast who were safely rescued after being stranded there for days in bad weather were well-prepared for harsh, wintry conditions.

Chief Ranger Mark Foust said in an email Tuesday that Jason Hiser of Richmond, Va. and Neal Peckens of Herndon, Va. had the right equipment and used their outdoor skills to survive. The two, originally from western Maryland, were unharmed.

Foust said the two men camped for four days at an elevation of about 6,000 feet. They rationed food, collected firewood and sought to attract help with a smoky fire and an SOS message made out of logs.

Foust said a park employee saw colored flagging Monday afternoon that led him to a tent and the hikers.