You know there’s no more difficult situation to imagine than your child in danger somewhere you can’t help them. That’s where one family found itself late last week in Montana, as their son, 4-year-old Ryker, went missing for two days in the woods. The NY Post reports:
A missing 4-year-old boy was found safe after surviving two days on his own in the Montana wilderness in cold temperatures over the weekend.
Ryker Webb was found Sunday unharmed but “hungry, thirsty and cold” after a two-day search involving ground responders, ATV teams, canine teams, drones, helicopters and a boat unit from multiple agencies, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office announced.
The youngster was reported missing just before 5 p.m. Friday by a concerned neighbor. Deputies soon learned he’d already been missing for more than two hours at that point and had last been seen playing with the family dog in his yard south of Troy, Montana on the east side of Bull Lake.
He was alone in the wooded area as temperatures dropped into the 40s overnight Saturday and thunderstorms and heavy rainfall impacted the search effort.
Aerial search teams had to turn back due to “very poor weather conditions which consisted of rain, low visibility, and low ceiling,” according to the sheriff’s office.
Dense vegetation in the area also made the search for the little boy “extremely difficult,” the office added.
Ryker was finally found in Sanders County, about 2.4 miles from where he went missing, as a 53-person team was searching the area.
He “was in good spirits and apparently healthy, although hungry, thirsty, and cold,” the sheriff’s office said. He was brought to Cabinet Peaks Medical Center for evaluation.
Ryker was lucky. At four years old, he didn’t already have a “mental map” of what to do, or what he thought he should do, and therefore he simply followed his instincts. I wrote to you back in November 2021: “Guess who has the highest percentage rate for surviving when lost in the woods? Survivalists, mountaineers, ultra-marathoners? No. It’s children under the age of six. Why? Scientists believe it’s because they don’t yet have a mental map of where they are, or what one’s “supposed” to do. They seek shelter, burrowing in the trunk of a tree to stay warm, for example.”
Action Line: Sometimes people can outthink themselves. Don’t be one of them. Keep your solutions simple. If you need help staying on course, click here to subscribe to my free monthly Survive & Thrive letter. If you have children or grandchildren like Ryker who you want to put on the right path early in life, teach them to harness the power of compounding by saving early and often.