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Dad's Survival Tip Kept Lost Boy Alive

He knew how to stay warm on cold mountain night
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 26, 2015 3:24 AM CDT
Dad's Survival Tip Kept Lost Boy Alive
Malachi Bradley, center, is reunited with his family Monday in Uintah County, Utah, after being lost near a remote mountain lake near the Wyoming border on Sunday.   (Ravell Call/The Deseret News via AP)

A 10-year-old boy found safe after more than a day alone in remote eastern Utah backcountry says he remembered the survival skills his father taught him and curled up between rocks still warm from the sun to survive the cold mountain night. "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 Bradley says. Malachi had been learning about wild mushrooms and wandered deep into the woods searching for new specimens after a hike with family to a mountain lake. "I went way too far," he says. When he realized he was lost, he tried looking for a road so he could flag down a driver, but the area about 200 miles east of Salt Lake City was too remote.

He found river water to drink during the day and tried unsuccessfully to catch a fish by fashioning a spear from a stick. Meanwhile, dozens of search and rescue workers were combing the area on horses and ATVs and in the air, but they couldn't spot Malachi in the wooded terrain. The next day, Malachi heard a police helicopter flying overhead. He knew he couldn't be seen through the trees, so he started walking again until he found a clearing. He stayed there, briefly falling asleep, until a search plane spotted him from the air and a helicopter landed to pick him up Monday. Medical staff on the scene declared him cold and hungry but otherwise fine. Malachi said he'll go camping again, but next time he'll stay close to other people. "I'll learn from my mistakes," he says. (Read more Utah stories.)

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