Nante Niemi says he’s ‘still going to go camping’ after surviving 2 days alone in Porcupine Mountains

Two photos show the successful end of the search effort for eight-year-old Nante Niemi in the...
Two photos show the successful end of the search effort for eight-year-old Nante Niemi in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, May 8, 2023.(Hurley School District)
Published: May. 11, 2023 at 8:31 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HURLEY, Wis. (WLUC) - The eight-year-old boy who survived two days alone in the Porcupine Mountains is explaining what he did to stay alive.

Nante Niemi and his family spoke to a reporter for the first time since he was found on Monday in an ABC News exclusive interview that aired on “Good Morning America” Thursday.

In the interview, the boy shared that his uncle asked him to go to back to the campsite on Saturday, and he soon realized he had lost his way around 1 p.m. When he ended up by a river, he realized he was lost.

“It wasn’t anywhere even close to the part where we first went up,” continued Niemi.

The family searched for Niemi until 6 p.m. Saturday before calling authorities. During his time alone, Niemi says he tried to think positively. He avoided drinking water and left muddy footprints in the snow in order to be tracked. He also ate clean snow when he was hungry, stating that he usually does it in the winter.

The second grader says he prayed that he would be found.

“And not being stuck out here for the rest of my life,” Niemi added.

Temperatures fell into the range of 40 degrees Fahrenheit both nights the boy was on his own. During the first night, he says he was awoken by a helicopter overhead and saw another Sunday morning, but neither spotted him.

According to authorities, he then circled around the area, leading to search teams missing him in their initial search. He eventually stopped and took shelter under a log, roughly two miles from his campsite.

The next afternoon, at around 1:30 p.m., he woke up to people shouting for him.

“I saw a lime green thing hanging, and then I saw somebody. I ran straight to them,” Niemi said.

The team safely escorted Neimi back to the search base camp to be reunited with his family. Despite the ordeal, Neimi says that it’s not going to stop him from enjoying the outdoors.

More than 150 people from various law enforcement groups joined the search on foot, in the air, and on the water for Niemi. The Michigan State Police would once again like to thank all of the volunteers and support services that helped out.