Malachi Badley is an American badass.
At 10 years old, most of us would have panicked if we went down the wrong isle in the grocery store, let alone disappeared in the woods for 29 hours.
Malachi was on a camping trip in Utah’s High Uintas Wilderness with his father and siblings when he wandered off in search of wild mushrooms to cook with a fish he’d caught — which is already just awesome. How many adults do you know who can forage mushrooms to go with their fresh-caught fish? He was probably going to pair it with some Merlot made from wild grapes, too.
After losing his bearings in the dense forest, Malachi did his best to set up camp as night fell. He was unequipped and shoeless, but didn’t panic. “There’s just a ton of giant rocks, so I hid between four of them so the wind wouldn’t hit me too much,” Malachi told reporters late Monday afternoon.
After realizing he hadn’t heard from his son for an hour, Malachi’s father raced to find cell service and call 911. Shortly thereafter, a crew of more than 100 rescue workers descended on the scene. Luckily, Malachi’s father had spent a fair amount of time preparing his kids for such an occasion by teaching them what to do if they were lost in the woods. The boy’s aunt, Lori Matthews, told NBC, “Just a week ago, he was camping, and he and a friend were playing ‘What would we do if we got lost?’ They were doing all the things you’d want them to do if you were lost.”
He was found after being spotted by a helicopter five miles from where he was last seen. We like to imagine that he greeted his rescuers with, “Do you guys want breakfast? I trapped a rabbit and I was thinking of serving it with wild onions and thyme?”
“He seems unfazed by it. He’s in good condition.” said Uintah County Sheriff’s Cpl. Brian Fletcher in an interview.
Having the courage and know-how to survive all alone in the woods might explain why Malachi looks Clint Eastwood-stoic in the video. Soon after the rescue, Malachi was in high spirits. When asked what it was like to stay in the woods overnight by himself, he replied: “It was awesome.”
To reiterate, Malachi Bradley = American badass.