Salt Lake City When he realized he’d been separated from his family on a weekend hike in a northern Utah forest, 9-year-old Grayson Wynne’s thoughts turned to television.
Grayson watches “Man vs. Wild” on the Discovery Channel every week with his brothers and his dad. On the show, host and adventurer Bear Grylls strands himself in the wilderness and then shows viewers how to survive the sticky situations.
That’s where Grayson says he learned to leave clues behind to help searchers find him.
On Saturday, when he was scared and alone in the Ashley National Forest, Grayson started tearing up his yellow rain slicker, despite the intermittent downpours, and tying pieces to trees.
“I just used my hands,” said Grayson, who was found safe Sunday after spending 18 hours lost in the forest. “I don’t know how many times I tore the thing but quite a lot.”
Grayson was among a party of about 15 family members that left Saturday from the Spirit Lake trailhead in Daggett County. The group stopped to tighten a saddle on a horse at some point, said Grayson’s dad, Kynan Wynne. But Grayson didn’t realize it and went ahead of the pack before diverting onto a smaller trail in the thick forest.
Although Kynan Wynne was concerned for his son’s safety, he was also confident in the boy’s resilience.
“The thing that he recognized from the show, regardless of the circumstances you’re in, you are capable of surviving,” Kynan Wynne said.