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Axle's night in the bush shows how 'extremely resilient' kids are - survival expert

The story of Axle Hambleyn's survival has now turned into one of disbelief. 

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One survival expert says Axle Hambleyn’s age may have helped him survive. Source: 1 NEWS

How was it that a 3-year-old who wandered about four kilometres away from his home, managed to make it out from a night spent in the East Coast bush with barely a scratch?

It could have been Axle's age that very much saved him. 

Axle went missing on Tuesday afternoon, sparking a large search. He was found safe a well yesterday morning.

Stu Gilbert from SOS Survival Training told 1 NEWS kids were "extremely resilient" and Axle had shown this. 

"Obviously a child of that age isn't able to process or reason like an adult. And because of that he wouldn't of necessarily been thinking about fear, the unknown," he said.

Perhaps not thinking about that fear is how Axle managed to survive a 7C night, about 4km from his home near Tolaga Bay, in just a nappy, a t-shirt and some gumboots.

"I think this boy survived because he's been exhausted, he would have been crying for his mum and dad, that would have got him to sleep and he's found a place where he feels comfortable and secure," Gilbert said.

He reckoned a lot of adults could take a leaf out of Axle's book.

"Kids are extremely resilient and this little boy's shown this so where that's come from, I don't know. Whether it's where he lives, the parent's he's with, the people he socialises with. 

"I'm not sure but he's definitely shown that at an extremely young age, which is fantastic, and a lot of adults can definitely take a leaf out his book."

Gilbert's advice for those that may find themselves lost is to stay put, as it reduces the search area.

"If you're cold, you've got to get a fire going, you've got to have the ability to be able to light a fire, if it's pouring down with rain and it's windy, well then you need to provide protection from that so having a shelter, and then do something to help SAR find you," he said.

"Whether that be making noise, blowing whistle, leaving signs so you can increase your chances of being found."