The main character in the story begins a journey to reach his friends at their campsite. But this was no ordinary journey. He believed that he could hike the unforgiving Yukon by himself in sub-zero temperatures.
The man begins this treacherous journey with nothing besides what he is wearing, matches, a knife, and his dog. He knows the great importance of being careful of his surroundings, but he let his guard down and subsequently broke through the ice.
The hiker realizes the necessity of keeping his legs dry and warm, so he picks the ice off of himself and his dog,and searches for an opportune place to build a fire with kindling and such. He finds nearby trees and sets out to build a fire.
The man builds a fire to keep himself from dying, needing the heat to warm and dry him after his mistake of plunging into the beyond freezing cold water. He uses his matches and kindling to build a fire near some trees, this providing a local source for more fuel. However, he was not careful and he built said fire under a snow bearing tree that extinguished it.
The man is getting closer and closer to his imminent death. His following attempts to create a fire were also unsuccessful due to his errors, leaving him with no options. The man begins to head towards the camp, death inevitably creeping up. His final attempt to gain heat was to kill his dog and use its carcass for heat.
The man fails to create a fire, kill the dog, or make it to camp in time. He trudged through snow as his life began to flicker like a candle. This candle would soon be extinguished by mother nature and the hiker's error. He collapsed and died before ever completing his journey.