A 25-year-old Utah man lost in the wilderness along the Montana-Idaho border last week, not sure if he'd ever make it out, found himself thinking about his pregnant wife—so he composed a note on his phone "in case they found my body cold," Kaden Laga now tells KSTU. "I love you," Laga says he wrote to his wife, Arden. "I loved my life with you and I'm so sorry I left you to be a single mom.'" Luckily, they both escaped that fate after he got lost on a family horseback-riding trip the weekend of Aug. 10-11 and survived five days in the mountainous Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. CNN reports Laga's ordeal began when his brother's horse had trouble, prompting Laga to volunteer his own horse to his brother and hike the rest of the way himself. He trekked too far ahead of the group, however, and soon realized he didn't know where he was.
For the next few days, Laga tried to find civilization, scarfing down berries and crickets, the latter of which he described to KPAX as being "pretty much tasteless ... like unbuttered popcorn." At one point midweek, he had a renewed burst of hope when he spotted helicopters overhead—"I'm like, 'This is it. They're going to get me,'" he recalls to KSTU—but his potential rescuers flew away without spotting him. What he describes as a miracle finally happened on Friday, when at around 1am he came across a campsite where a couple had opted to leave a headlamp on all night. "I really hope the takeaway isn't that I've done this amazing thing," Laga tells KPAX. "I was very gifted, blessed, protected." In a Facebook post, Arden Laga says they'll be heading to Hawaii to "help us rest, reconnect, and take things easy." They tell MTN News they'll name their new son after one of Laga's campsite rescuers. (Read more survival stories.)