The answer to your question comes in chapter eight of the novel Hatchet. Brian has just learned the lesson that feeling sorry for himself will not accomplish anything and that he must be an active participant in his own survival. He begins sleeping fitfully, so he is in that light sleep when dreams and reality are a bit blurred.
In the dream, his father is trying to say something to him, but Brian can't make out what it is. He can tell by the way he forms his mouth that it begins with the letter m. Then he realizes it is "maaaaa," but that's all he can make out. He tries really hard to hear him and understand the message, but it's lost with the fading of dreams between sleep and wakefulness.
Next, he dreams of his friend Terry. Terry is gesturing toward a barbecue pit. He pours charcoal from a bag, then puts lighter fluid on it, and lastly takes a lighter to create a fire. Terry points to the fire to show Brian. Brian still doesn't get the message. Brian sees a bag on the table next to Terry in the dream and starts thinking of food. Terry continues to try to redirect his attention to the fire. Shortly after that dream, Brian figures out that he can use the hatchet to create sparks off the flint stone to make fire.