A 10-year-old boy was found safe after more than a day alone in a remote backcountry in Eastern Utah. He says the survival trick his father taught him helped him survive.
Malachi Bradley had been learning about wild mushrooms when he wandered too far into the woods searching for fungi during a family trip to a mountain lake, reports Newser.
"It was weird not having anybody with me, but I just kept going. I knew I had to make it back or my family would be really sad," Malachi said. “I went way too far.”
When he became lost, he tried looking for a road to flag down a driver, but the area, 200 miles east of Salt Lake City, was too remote.
The boy found river water to drink during the day. He was unsuccessful in trying to catch a fish with a spear he fashioned from a stick.
Dozens of search and rescue workers combed the area on horses, in all-terrain vehicles, and in the air, but the terrain was too wooded to spot the boy.
To survive the cold mountain night, the boy curled up between rocks that were still warm from the sun. He says his father taught him that trick.
Molly Chrisman, the boy’s mother, said she had heard of a 5-year-old boy in Arizona who wandered away from his campsite while chasing grasshoppers. He died in August of exposure, reports USA Today.
“I felt like the forest was so huge,” Chrisman said. “They were showing pictures on a map of how many people they had on the ground, and it felt like it was a tiny amount compared to the vast place that was the forest.”
The next day, Malachi heard a helicopter but knew that they could not see him through the trees, so he walked until he found a clearing.
He stayed in the clearing and slept briefly when a search plane spotted him and a helicopter landed to pick him up.
Medical staff who arrived with the helicopter said that he was cold and hungry, but otherwise in good health.
Malachi said he will go camping in the future, but that he’ll stay close to other people, saying, "I'll learn from my mistakes."