On September 10, a reindeer breeder, Egor Krivoshapkin, was found in Ust-Yansky ulus, who was lost this summer.

According to, he told the newspaper Zarya Yany about his salvation, the fight against wildfires and the meeting with wild animals.

In the first days after the signal about the disappearance of a person was received, the police officers searched for him, all the witnesses who saw him for the last time were interviewed, but this did not yield results. The information was sent to nearby settlements, volunteers searched for Egor in the district center, but all that led to little effect. There were a lot of rumors around the village, but they all said that the lost person was most likely dead, because a person cannot live so long in the tundra without food and water.

Gone under the influence of the demon drink

This story, it would seem, is way too pedestrian: a man, having drunk too much, decided to continue drinking alcohol, but away from people's eyes. This man under the influence of the demon drink decided to do something that changed his life into "before" and "after."

It must be clarified that Egor Krivoshapkin is a native of the village of Tomtor, Verkhoyansk ulus. He arrived here for almost two seasons ago, together with two fellow countrymen, to take the reindeer to his nomad camp. It follows that these lands are completely unfamiliar to him, except for the territory where the reindeer herding brigade No. 6 of Budimir Nikulin is located.

Having decided to go away from the village, he went down to the water intake and headed along the river Poiskovy. Our story begins from there, because he just could not explain how and why he could not find the way back. Knowledgeable people claim that it is easy to get lost there: the river forms a kind of hollow, because of which the terrain is not visible. In addition, then a wildfire raged on the territory of the ulus, so all the hills were hidden by smoke, which again interfered with the orientation on the ground.

First, going down to the tundra zone, he found a track left by cross-country vehicles, along which he walked. As it turned out later, the entire tundra was dotted with tracks from all-terrain vehicles that led in different directions. Realizing that it was worth abandoning this idea, he decided to rise higher to look around, but nothing good came of it, because the terrain was the same, in addition smoke was everywhere. He circled in the same place, he realized this only when he sat down to rest by the stone. Then it was approximately the fifth day from the day of his disappearance. At this stone he found his own tracks and realized that he was completely lost. He did not panic, but made himself think how to get out of that situation. He decided that it was worth moving down the riverbed. He had three disposable lighters with him, which he bought for the future, and nothing more. He had only one thought in his head: if I had at least a small knife with me, then everything would not be so scary.

According to our interlocutor, he accidentally found a Yakut knife in the forest, most likely forgotten by a reindeer herder, and maybe a hunter. Egor says that while wandering around the hills and the tundra, he came across an old grave, apparently, of a respected man, because someone carefully laid there the copper vat of the pre-revolutionary period and all sorts of small things. Then he asked for help from the spirits, so as not to disappear in a strange land. In addition, in this place, according to his judgment, there was some kind of positive energy.


There was only one goal - to satisfy hunger

In the early days of his wanderings, he found a rumpled mug, which he used to make Ivan-tea tincture according to his mother’s recipe. She told him that in the post-war years they often made tea from these flowers. All these days he mainly ate berries - blueberries, cloudberries, roots and drank Ivan tea. He was lucky that those days were clear, warm days, because he was wearing a windbreaker, jeans and rubber boots. With the help of a knife he made himself a sleeping place from twigs of branches, escaping from the piercing wind. In those days, he lost count of what the day of the week was, and in principle it no longer worried. The goal was only one - to satisfy hunger, the berries and roots of plants did not especially add much strength. Walking along the riverbed, he found a piece of thin wire, from which he made tackles for fishing. He benefited from skills acquired in childhood. He managed to catch two fish, which lasted for several days, he also found a bird's nest. By the way, he used the wire to make a handle for a mug, it turned out something like a pot to cook soup from freshly caught fish.

After a while, Egor came across an empty reindeer herding nomadic camp (as it later turned out, there was a camp of a reindeer herding brigade No. 1 back in the 90s of the last century), he found nothing good there, only a tattered old tent and a satellite dish. In about the second month of walking, he came across a hut. As Egor Krivoshapkin later admitted, he wandered because he was driven by hunger. Once, when fell asleep, he was awakened by an old woman (sir ichchite - the spirit of the earth), who told him not to lie around here, but to go to sleep in the house. “Then I was rather confused than scared, everything was as if in reality. Then, having estimated what she had in mind, I decided to go down from the hill, and with lateral vision saw the roof of the hut in the forest. Of course, I was delighted, although from the edible in the house there was only flour. I immediately fired a furnace, prepared gruel from flour,” says Egor. "There were no dishes in the house, in a heap of rubbish I found different tare, washed and used them, in addition, there were three traps on the roof, which I later set to catch marmots (tarbagan). In total, I caught 6 tarbagans, got a supply of food, other ingredients, in particular fat, came in handy. I used animal fat as oil for fire instead of candles. I set traps on a hill, where there were burrows of tarbagans, of course, there was not enough meat, but better than nothing. True, I had to travel a long distance to set the traps, I used to be very tired then, especially in the first hungry time, when I ate only flour. A sick tooth made itself felt, which prevented normal sleep. I found ammonia in the house, since then the tooth does not ache at all.”

Note that the reason for the arrival of Egor Krivoshapkin in the ulus center was precisely a bad tooth. Basically, he was guided by the sun, but still managed for the first time to pass by the reindeer herding hut, naturally, he only got to know about this when he was found. In total, he walked more than 60 kilometers, and his wandering should be added to this.

Once they almost found him, he then went towards the abandoned Mamont site to check if there were people there. Just at that time, the all-terrain vehicle of his foreman Budimir Nikulin drove past the hut where he settled. He found out about this when he returned to the house: there were fresh tracks from the all-terrain vehicle nearby, then he decided to move towards the winter hut. Before leaving, he wrote a note about himself and about where he was going.


Three days of struggle with the elements

In August, the forest-tundra was on fire, the fire was approaching the winter hut. Of course, he could immediately go in the direction of Tiryakhtyakh to get away from the fire, but Egor Krivoshapkin knew that there were two snowmobiles, gear, sleighs, etc. For himself, he decided that he would go to the winter hut, if possible, he would be able to save at least something.

He extinguished the approaching fire with improvised means; there were two basins in the house, some clothes that he moistened with water. “From food I had stocks of tarbagan meat, it’s good that there was a lot of water around. It was difficult to cope with the fire, I found a scarf, moistened it with water and tied it up to make it easier to breathe, in addition, I doused myself with water from head to toe, there was unbearable heat from the flame of fire,” says Egor. “The main thing was to keep the fire out of the booths where there were two Yamaha brand snowmobiles worth several million rubles. I dragged the sleighs away, some other things, but I couldn’t move the equipment, so I poured water around the booth and the booth itself. I fought with fire for about three days, I managed to save the equipment, then one house, corral and the area around it burned down in a fire.”

After the mission, he had a long journey to Tiryahtyakh, he had to overcome a distance of about 50 kilometers. Although he did not know for sure that someone was there. Last year, fellow countrymen told him that there was a site of gold miners. He reached the site on a dark night. All the buildings were intact, Egor found an open room, where he spent the night. He says that it was scary, maybe he already managed to run wild, but sleeping in the open air was not as scary as in a room on an abandoned site. A few days later at night, the watchman Denis Sleptsov and his wife Marianna came on foot from the village of Saiylyk.

The owners of the site began asking where he had been missing all this time, because they were already aware that this man was wanted, they recognized him from the photograph. In the morning, Denis Sleptsov called his sister in the village of Saiylyk. Budimir Sleptsov, the leader of the reindeer herd No. 6, was informed that the lost reindeer herder was found, they also contacted Egor's relatives.

“I met a bear twice”

Egor said that he had met a brown bear twice. The first meeting happened when he wandered along the riverbed and the hills, Egor said that he had never experienced such fear. “I saw a huge beast on a hill; we were separated by a distance of about 50 meters. There was no point in running away: a bear would have caught up with me in no time. All that was left was to rely on chance, I mentally appealed to the main beast of the tundra, asking me not to touch me: I have nothing to give, I myself am supposedly looking for food, I got into trouble, I did not touch you and you do not touch me. For a long time he looked in my direction, sniffed, and then, as if nothing had happened, left for his business. He was probably full, or maybe he felt sorry for me. I slowly walked away in the opposite direction, afraid to even breathe loudly. When he disappeared from sight, I ran at full speed, forgetting about fatigue and malnutrition.

The second meeting happened when I lived in the winter hut, then I was on my way "home" after checking the traps. Going down from the hill, I suddenly see that a bear is walking towards the hut, a little less than the first one I met. I began to wait, when it was already getting dark, I went towards the hut. Going closer, I took a small tin, began to knock on it to scare the beast with noise. I spent a couple of hours outside, and then still decided to go in. It turned out that while I was going down, the bear had long gone, leaving behind a mess. Moreover, once I saw a wild deer with huge beautiful horns and a mountain ram, again with big horns, now I think that maybe they were the spirits that led me on the path to salvation."

The human carelessness is to blame, but the fortitude, abilities and skills acquired from an early age due to the primordial occupations of his ancestors helped Egor Krivoshapkin to overcome all difficulties and return alive to his family. In the end, Egor said that he is going to work in the current season, then he will see.