Written by Nick Carbone for newsfeed.time.com
Clifton Vial wound up stuck in a snowdrift off a rural highway in eastern Alaska, his truck lacking the usual survival necessities. All that lay in the back was a few cans of Coors Light, frozen solid. And as any college student knows: beer is food. Even the relatively bland Coors Light contains calories to keep a person functioning. Foodless for nearly 60 hours, Vial munched on the frozen beer. Bear Grylls would be so proud.
Vial says he ate the beer like beans from a can. â€œI cut the lids off and dug it out with a knife,â€ he told the Anchorage Daily News. The 52-year-old lived off the ration of a couple of cans for more than three days while rescuers searched for him.
Vial had taken a drive late Monday night, getting stuck in a snowdrift 40 miles north of Nome. Far out of cell phone range and ill-dressed for the situation in tennis shoes, jeans and a cheap jacket, Vial huddled for warmth in a sleeping bag and shrouded his shivering feet in a towel. He turned on the engine occasionally to listen to the radio and get the heat flowing, but it was no match for the -17 degree temperatures. And by the third day, Vialâ€™s gas gauge was toeing the â€œemptyâ€ line.
When he failed to show up to work Tuesday afternoon, the search was on for the missing man. It wasnâ€™t until Thursday afternoon, nearly three days since his truck became lodged in the snowdrift, that a Nome rescue crew happened upon him. When towed safely back to civilization, Vialâ€™s beer diet quickly hit the skids. He told ABC News heâ€™s drinking a gallon and a half of water each day to rehydrate. Fortunately, his Coors binge wasnâ€™t all that unhealthy â€“ he didnâ€™t even gain a beer belly. In fact, Vial lost 16 pounds while he lay stranded.