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Boy Scout survives frigid night after getting lost

by ‘Timothy Martinez Jr.

Scouts are a different breed of people filled with intimate knowledge of the outdoors and life-saving survival skills they will hopefully never have to use.

One resilient Boy Scout learned just how important these skills are.

The 12-year-old boy safely made it through the night after getting lost while on a camping trip in the woods of Utah, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Jared Ropelato got lost from his camping group Friday afternoon after not being able to find his “buddy” or the camp. So, he wandered for hours in search of his group or any other campers to no avail.

When darkness settled in the woods and temperatures dropped, the young scout member built a lean-to just like he remembered in the Boy Scouts.

Here’s how his lean-to was described in the Examiner:

“I was scared,” the young troop member confessed. But that didn’t stop Lopelato from digging a hole big enough to get into for the night and covering himself up with dirt and twigs, to avoid predator detection during the night.

Although he was afraid (as any normal person in his situation would be), he didn’t panic. Temperatures dropped to 31 degrees overnight, but he was able to keep fairly warm by staying in his lean-to.

Doctors checked him out after he was found the next morning as a precaution, but he was fine.

Here are a few things you should do if you become separated or lost while camping.

Don’t panic

Not only does panicking make you shut down, but it also clouds your judgment. It’s all right to be scared, but don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed by your situation. Take deep breathes and plan your next move.

Don’t wander

If you have an idea where the campsite might be, try to find it, but don’t wander too far. When someone comes to search for you, they will start near the last place you were seen. It’s also easier to find a stationary person.

Draw attention to your presence

Whether a whistle or brightly colored coat, you want to draw as much attention to yourself as possible. Shouting or banging tins together is a great way to alert people.

Create a shelter overnight

Like Jared Ropelato, you should build a shelter at night to protect yourself from the elements.

Make sure to keep hydrated

It’s important to stay hydrated to maintain your energy and composure. You can go a while without food, but not without water. If you know you won’t be able to find a clean source, make sure you ration your supply.