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10-Year-Old Boy Who Survived Night Alone in the Wilderness Used These Survival Skills His Dad Taught Him

"I knew I had to make it back, or my family would be really sad."

Image source: KSL-TV

A 10-year-old boy survived a night alone in the Utah wilderness after getting separated from his family thanks to a few survival tips he learned from his dad.

Malachi Bradley was with his family near Paul Lake, about 200 miles from Salt Lake City, on Sunday when he went off to look for wild mushrooms and got lost. That's when he immediately went into survival mode, KSL-TV reported.

Image source: KSL-TV

"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," Bradley told the Associated Press.

So the 10-year-old used a few survival tips from his dad, Danny Bradley, to get through the night, using what he already had to help him stay warm, hydrated and fed.

"There's just a ton of giant rocks, so I hid between four of them so the wind wouldn't hit me too much," Bradley said. "I had to keep switching positions because the wind kept switching."

Bradley used his jacket to filter water from the river so he could drink it and killed fish for food using a makeshift spear, the AP reported. As temperatures dived into the 30s late Sunday and into Monday, Bradley used a T-shirt to keep his legs warm as he curled the upper part of his body into a jacket.

Ashley National Forest, where Paul Lake is located, is seen here. (Image source: USDA.gov)

A search and rescue team of about 100 people discovered the boy 29 hours after he first went missing. They found him 5 miles from where he and his family were initially separated.

“I thought if I was in an open space, maybe the helicopters would find me," Bradley said. "I sat there most of the day, waving at helicopters."

Bradley's mother, Molly Bradley, was overjoyed when she heard the news that her son had been found.

“So exciting, such a relief," Molly Bradley said.

Uintah County Sheriff's Cpl. Brian Fletcher told KSL-TV that the boy seemed "unfazed" by his experience and added that he was in "good condition."

“I didn’t have anything bad happen to me other than tripping [and] getting a few cuts,” Bradley told ABC News.

As for whether he'll ever go camping again, Bradley told the AP that he would – but make sure to stay close to his family.

"I'll learn from my mistakes," Bradley said.


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