Despite the fact that Alaska is one of the most spectacularly beautiful places on the planet, it can also be a challenging environment as well. This is something that one man recently discovered after he spent three weeks surviving in the wilderness after a fire burned down his cabin, leaving him stranded and without much food. Fortunately, he was rescued this past weekend after authorities went to check on him and saw an SOS message written in the snow.
30-year old Tyson Steele was living in a remote cabin in the Alaskan wilderness since last September. He says that sometime around December 17 or 18, he loaded up the wood burning stove used to keep the cabin warm with a large piece of cardboard to help get the blaze going. Apparently, as the cardboard burned, it sent a piece up through the chimney, landing on the roof outside and sparking a fire. Steele didn’t realize it until the next morning however, when he began to notice melting plastic dripping from the ceiling. By that time, it was already too late and the cabin was ablaze.
He ran back inside to grab a few things, including a blanket, his rifle and some supplies. What he didn’t realize was that his dog was trapped inside and hadn’t followed him out. By the time it dawned on him, it was already too late. Steele says that he howled in grief himself as he came to understand that Phil—his Labrador retriever—was caught in the fire.
With the cabin burned to the ground and Phil gone, the real survival story was just beginning. Steele says he managed to survive off canned food that was in the cabin and he built himself a tent out of a plastic tarp and some of the remains of the cabin. He subsisted as best he could until help arrived. The local sheriff went looking for Steele after his family contacted the authorities after not hearing from him for several weeks. A quick flyover in a helicopter let them know that things were not right.
Now, Tyson is safe and sound and headed home to visit friends and family after surviving his ordeal. He’ll have a heck of a story to tell. You can read more about it here.
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