To build a fire
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Basically because he is wet. The man's foot breaks through some thin ice in the creek. It is so cold outside that the man has no choice but to light a fire and dry out. If he did not, hypothermia would set in within a few minutes. He would also lose his foot.
I thought it was because he built it under a spruce tree thinking having the advantage to pull twigs and such for the fire making it easier to pull witched caused agitation to the tree causing a load of snow descended upon the man and fire which blotted out the fire.please correct me if im wrong