Eastern Iowa Native Once Tried to Survive Alone for $500,000
Back in 2015 was the beginning of a different kind of "game show" that would captivate audiences from around the world. You probably can't even call this a game show even though the contestants are competing for money, it's a show about survival. Each season, 10 survival experts head out into the wilderness and simply, try to survive as long as they can. Whoever can last the longest wins half a million dollars.
The show is currently on various streaming services like Discovery+, the History Channel, and season 8 is on Netflix, and I can't stop binge-watching. You need to start watching the show Alone if you haven't because what these survival experts go through is nothing short of miraculous. You see everything from sheer joy over catching one single fish, to mental breakdowns, starvation, and the sheer will to survive for a life-changing amount of money.
They build shelters, hunt for food, and try to survive freezing rain and frigid temperatures. They have to coexist amongst wolves, bears, and mountain lions, all while only being allowed to bring 10 survival items in their backpacks.
On top of that, each contestant is responsible for filming all of their own content. They don't have a camera crew along to keep them company, as they are 100% isolated and alone. During the show's very first season a man from the small town of Quasqueton, Iowa, participated and he performed very well.
*SPOILERS BELOW FOR SEASON 1*
Lucas Miller, who is from the small town of Quasqueton, Iowa, currently lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He once had a shot at winning $500,000 and came very close to doing just that. During the show's first season, he was dropped off at Vancuver Island in British Columbia, Canada, and was able to survive 39 days alone in the wilderness.
He finished 4th among the 10 contestants and when talking to The Gazette back in 2015, he said his journey was complete. He was there to survive for himself and not for anyone else.
I had this feeling of completeness, and it just felt right to move on. I did it for myself, not to please or impress other people. For me, it was a journey to become a more complete and compassionate person.
One of his most lighthearted moments when he was on the show was when he built a mini guitar and created a 2 note song. The things you'll do to entertain yourself when you're stuck alone in the wilderness.
Could you imagine being isolated, hungry, cold, and tired, all while trying to compete for $500,000? This is one of the first ever shows that in my opinion truly test the human willpower to survive. It does take a bit of luck but the show is mostly testing each contestant to see how far they can push themselves. Whether that be their mental state or how they can hold up physically.
Every 10 days or so, each contestant goes through a medical check where a team of doctors and survival experts checks on their state of mind, if they have any injuries, and most importantly, their weight. This is what gets most people sent home. If a contestant loses too much weight, they can be sent home by the medical staff, even if they believe they can continue. If they are getting so thin, to the point of irreversible damage, they're told they're being medically evacuated. Just like that, their chance at the prize money is over.
People have been sent home for various injuries whether they hurt themselves badly enough, get sick and call for medical help, or have frostbite on fingers or toes, but a lot of time, it comes down to weight. Can they find enough food to keep going through the competition?
I'm not sure what it is about survival shows that I've been drawn to my whole life but I can't get enough of this show. From Survivor Man to Bear Grylls, I've always been fascinated by these shows and the creativity survival experts have.
The tools these experts can make with simple ingenuity and the various things they're willing to eat are a great test of the human will to survive. It reminds me, that I hope to never be in a survival situation. Alone is easily my favorite show on T.V right now and with 8 available seasons, I'm binge-watching all of them until the Game of Thrones prequel comes out on August 21st.