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Utah Man Told Himself “You Can’t Die Here” After Being Lost in the Wilderness

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A Utah man who was lost in the wilderness for five days is now telling his harrowing story. 25-year-old Kaden Laga says he survived on bugs and berries, after a horseback riding trip went wrong.

Last Sunday, Laga got lost in a wilderness area near the border of Idaho and Montana. On Friday morning, he was finally found.

In an interview with NBC Montana, Laga said at one point he was preparing for the worst.

“I just wrote a little note in case they found my body cold,” he said. “I just wrote it to Arden and I said, in case I don’t make it out of here I love you. I’ve loved my life with you and I’m so sorry I’ve left you to be a single mom.”

But Laga wouldn’t give up.

“No matter what, you’re getting off this mountain and it doesn’t matter how long it takes,” Laga told himself. “It doesn’t matter how hard it is. You can’t die here.”

Laga was riding horses with his family when his horse went lame. Laga said he would just walk the rest of the way and meet up with his family later, but he never made it to the meeting spot.

Search parties looked for Laga for several days.  He says he even saw a plane fly close by, but it didn’t see him.

Then finally on Friday morning, Laga wandered into a camp of volunteers.

“So I’m standing quite a ways away and I yell, ‘hello, hello, hello!’ And then I hear them go, ‘are you Kaden?’ and I yell ‘I am Kaden!’” he said.

To say his wife Arden was relieved to hear the news is an understatement.

“My mom opens the door and she’s like, ‘didn’t you hear, didn’t you hear?!’ And I’m like, ‘Is he alive?’ My mom’s like ‘Yes he’s alive!’ And I just fell to my knees,” she said. “I’m not even crying tears. I’m just heaving and sobbing and just we did it, he’s alive. He’s okay. We’re okay. It’s over.”

Laga says he only slept three hours a night and spent most of his time searching for a trail.  He said there was enough water in the area, but he had to survive on berries, ants and grasshoppers.


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