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Boy Scout lost in Wyoming wilderness survived on bugs, bark

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Garrett Hunter 2
Garrett
Hunter became separated from his Boy Scout group during a hiking
trip in the Wyoming on Saturday


Sublette
County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook



  • Garrett Hunter of Draper, Utah, was separated from his
    Boy Scout troop in the Wyoming wilderness on
    Saturday. 
  • Garrett, who has Asperger’s syndrome, became
    separated from the group when he went off a trail to go to the
    bathroom. 
  • Searchers found him in good health about 10:15 p.m.
    Sunday after happening to camp near him for the night and
    calling out his name.

A 13-year-old boy who became separated from his Boy Scout group
during a hiking trip in the Wyoming wilderness survived partly on
bugs and tree bark for the nearly 37 hours he was alone.

Searchers found Garrett Hunter of Draper, Utah, in good health
about 10:15 p.m. Sunday after happening to camp near him for the
night and calling out his name, according to Sublette County
sheriff’s Sgt. Travis Bingham.

Rough terrain and darkness forced the group to camp overnight and
wait until Monday morning to take the boy out of the mountainous
Bridger Wilderness.


Garrett Hunter 1
The
Sublette County Sheriff’s Office issued a missing poster for
Garrett Hunter


Sublette
County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook



Garrett, who has Asperger’s
syndrome,
 became separated from other Boy Scouts and
their leaders around 9:30 a.m. Saturday when he went off a trail
to go to the bathroom, Bingham said. When he returned, the group
was gone.

The group of about 20 boys and adults were on the way out from a
weeklong, 50-mile (81-kilometer) backcountry hiking trip near
Pinedale, Wyoming.

Police said they were concerned Garrett’s Asperger’s syndrome
could have kept him from approaching anyone for
help,  according to
ABC
.

Garrett had a sleeping bag, a water filtration device, a little
food and part of a tent. Not sure how long he might be lost, the
boy ate ants and bark to preserve what little food he had.

“Of course I panicked,” Garrett told
KSL
. “I had some weight on me, so I ditched my tent and some
trash and went up the mountain.”

He kept his backpack and sleeping back and used his water filter
to drink stream water until he was located.

As time went on, Garrett feared that he would never see his
family again.

“He didn’t like bark so much, but the bugs weren’t too bad,”
Bingham said after interviewing Garrett Monday. “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.”

Searchers, aided by dogs and a helicopter, scoured the rugged
terrain Saturday afternoon and Sunday. The search was suspended
about 7 p.m. Sunday, but one group of volunteers decided to camp
near a lake that night.


Garrett Hunter 3
Garrett
Hunter after being rescued


Sublette
County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook



When one of the volunteers yelled out Garrett’s name, they heard
a reply: “Help,” Bingham said.

The volunteers who found Garrett were members of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ward Garrett belonged
to, KSL reported.

The boy was found on a ledge overlooking the lake where he had
stopped to wait for rescuers, Bingham said.

“It was really great,” Garrett told KSL of the rescue.
“Like, hallelujah, I’m home free! … They were so happy to see me,
like they said it was a miracle that they found me.”

Authorities said he did everything right to survive, including
staying in one place after initially hiking about a mile.

When asked if he had tips for anyone who might get lost in the
future, Garrett said: “Have a map with you and a knife in case
you get stuck.”

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