ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A Utah man who survived the Alaskan wilderness for over three weeks is talking about his harrowing experience, KTUU reports.
Tyson Steele, 30, survived in the southern Alaskan wilderness for 23 days after the remote hut he lived in went up in flames back in December.
He was 20 miles away from his closest neighbor in the tiny community of Skwentna.
After being rescued Thursday, Steele recounted rushing out of the burning dwelling with only a few supplies.
Unfortunately, his beloved chocolate Lab Phil didn't make it out alive.
"I sat down on the ground for a while. It was cold. I didn't have any socks in my boots and I was just wearing pajamas at that point and a t-shirt," Steele said.
He described sleeping in a "snow cave" for the first two nights.
"I just huddled into that dark cave and I slept...," Steele said. "And it was warm. Warmer than outside."
He said he later scavenged for tarps and scrap lumber to build the tent-like dome around his wood stove.
He then carved "SOS" into the snow.
Steele rationed his 30 days of food until a request for a welfare check from friends led authorities to him.
"I was grateful that all of my bullets blew up because it could have been a temptation and be like I'm not going to make it. I'd put myself out, right? It's a very real thought that crept up almost daily. Especially real cold nights," Steele said.
He told his rescuers he'll probably head back to his family in Salt Lake City for no, .but his plan is to return to the Alaskan wilderness he calls "home" and rebuild.