Teenager Lost In Woods For 25 Hrs. Walks Out By Himself

5:21 PM, Jul 6, 2013   |    comments
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Montezuma County, CO - A 15-year-old boy walked out of San Juan National Forest Thursday after being lost in the woods for 25 hours and documenting his night alone.

Jacob Laube went for a short hike with his father, Doug Laube, Wednesday afternoon and decided to follow a separate path without his father knowing.

Jacob diverted to take photos. He found a creek and decided to head off the trail to follow the water down hill. After two hours of heading down the mountain, he decided to follow the creek back up to find the trail that would lead him to his family's campground, but came to find he was too disoriented.

"I kept thinking I still had to go up the creek to find the trail. Around 8:30 p.m. or so, I decided to set up a camp tried to sleep there through the night," Jacob said. "I was freaking out for the first hour and a half and then I just accepted the fact that I'm lost."

Jacob only had a swiss army knife and a buck knife, his cell phone and a camera. He was only wearing a t-shirt and shorts.

Jacob used survival skills he acquired through watching survival shows to construct a sleeping area under a bush. He barricaded an area with rocks to try to stay hidden from wildlife. Throughout the night, Jacob recorded his thoughts on his camera.

"Well, it's day one that I've been out here. I'm frickin' freezing. I'm headed downstream right now," Jacob noted in a video early Thursday morning. "Hopefully I can find the trail there. I believe that I traveled too far up so I had to make a campsite for the night and yeah, that's about it."

He was able to find the trail and came out of the woods near his family's campground around noon on Thursday. Doug Loebe told 9NEWS Jacob's disappearance was, "by far the most horrifying experience of [my] life."

"Once it got dark is when we really began to worry because we didn't know if he was laying hurt or even worse," Doug said. "The crew and everyone else was just amazing, even hiking the creek bed at 12 in the morning with just head lamps and flashlights."

The Loebe family hopes sharing Jacob's story will prevent a situation similar to theirs from happening again.

Jacob says he will bring more equipment with him the next time he decides to go for a hike, as well as a hiking buddy.


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