A young boy who was lost in the Utah wilderness remarkably survived. And he did it with some basic survival skills his father had taught him. Had Malachi Bradley not been armed with this knowledge, he likely wouldn’t have made it out of the frightening ordeal alive. 10-year-old Malachi was hiking with his family in Utah when he wandered off to find some wild mushrooms to cook with the fish he had caught.
He ended up lost in the High Uintas Wilderness of Utah, an area that can be challenging even for those with wilderness survival experience.
His parents were understandably worried about their son, but 30 hours after his disappearance, Malachi was found safe.
The boy’s ability to survive the harrowing experience is impressive, with his aunt further explaining that a week before he went on the trip, the boy and his friends played a game called “What would we do if we got lost?” That exercise in worst case scenarios no doubt was critical in saving Malachi’s life.
He told reporters: “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,” explaining that he “went way too far” when he wandered off.
Malachi attempted to find a road so that he could flag someone down, but was unsuccessful. He drank water from the river using a technique his dad had taught him to filter it, and attempted to spear a fish, with no success.
Malachi further explained how he survived the cold overnight temperatures, saying: “There’s just a ton of giant rocks, so I hid between four of them so the wind wouldn’t hit me too much.” He found that the rocks provided warmth for his body after they had been exposed to the sun during the day.
Malachi’s mother shared her worry about her missing son, saying: “I felt like the forest was so huge. 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.”
His dad added: “I was just hoping he was able to stay warm enough.”
Malachi heard the search and rescue helicopters the next day and managed to get to a clearing so he could be found. He was soon discovered, five miles southeast from where he went missing.
His mother said after his rescue: “He’s healthy and he’s coming up and this is going to be all over and it’s not a tragedy.” The medical staff at the scene said the boy was healthy, albeit cold and hungry.
With only a few scrapes and bruises, Malachi returned home and arrived to a celebratory welcome at his school, where kids cheered for him and chanted his name. Malachi’s mom said of his survival story: “I was not going to have to bury my baby. I was so happy to have my baby back. That was a good day.”