Boy Scout Stranded In Wilderness For 37 Hours, Ate Bugs And Bark To Survive

Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter

A Boy Scout who was rescued after being stranded in the Wyoming wilderness for 37 hours said he ate ants and bark to help him survive.

Volunteer searchers found 13-year-old Garrett Hunter of Draper, Utah, at 10:15 p.m. Sunday night after the search officially stopped due to rough terrain and darkness. The group of volunteers happened to make camp near the spot where Hunter stayed in hopes that staying in one place would allow people to find him quicker. (RELATED: Mormon Church And Boy Scouts Ending 105-Year Partnership)

He told rescuers that, in addition to making a fire, he ate ants and bark to help him preserve his limited food supply, as he did not know how long he would remain stranded.

“He didn’t like bark so much, but the bugs weren’t too bad,” said Sublette County sheriff’s Sgt. Travis Bingham, according to The Associated Press. “He had trouble starting a fire with the fire starters staying lit. He improvised, using bug spray with his lighter even though his mom told him not to and did get a fire that one night.”

Hunter, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, became separated from his troop at 9:30 a.m. Saturday during the group’s hike out of a 50-mile backpacking trek when he went off the trail to go to relieve himself. He had a water filter, a sleeping bag, part of a tent and some food.

Searchers combed the wilderness from Saturday afternoon to Sunday night with the aid of helicopters and dogs. When the search was suspended at 7 p.m., one group of volunteers decided to make camp by a lake. They found Garrett on a ledge overlooking the lake after hearing him yell “help” when one of them called out his name.

Authorities said that Hunter did everything right to survive his circumstances and to give searchers a better chance of finding him, especially deciding to stay in one place.

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