POWAY, Calif. - A 22-year-old hiker who was stranded and spent the night on a Poway hiking trail was found safe Wednesday, authorities said.
Jan Caldwell, a spokeswoman with the San Diego Sheriff's Department, said Luis Ocampo got stranded near the summit of Iron Mountain.
"He got lost, lost a boot in the process, ran out of cell coverage, ran out of daylight," said Caldwell.
She said Ocampo did the next best thing by deciding to stay put and and start hiking again in the morning.
Rescue teams helped Ocampo get down from the mountain at around 7 a.m.
"These guys are the best," Ocampo said of the rescue team. "I love them, they rescued me, they're not strangers, they're friends."
He told 10News he went up the trail for exercise, but got lost and his cell phone battery died. He said after the sun went down, he couldn't see and used a camera and his lighter to try and find his way out.
"I slept under trees, under rocks," Ocampo said.
Caldwell said that Ocampo's ordeal is a good reminder for people wanting to hike to be prepared.
"Make sure you take extra cell phone batteries, take a buddy, it's always to go hiking with someone else, take lots of water... let your family and friends know where you're going to be," said Caldwell.
Family members reported Ocampo missing at about 2:30 a.m. They said he left to go on a hike on Iron Mountain Tuesday afternoon.
Ocampo's father said he could not sleep all night and his eyes filled with tears when he was finally reunited with his son, who was missing for 17 hours.
Search and rescue teams responded to the scene on the east side of SR-67 at Poway Road early Wednesday where authorities found the Ocampo's vehicle.