This is a short blog to capture my tap out on Alone Season 6, Arctic. As many people watched my tearful departure from Alone due to medical reasons, I could only think to myself, a few days later in a medical recovery cabin how production was going to paint this tap out. Unfortunately, for me, I knew it was going to be as if the muskrat I shot with my bow, then meticulously processed with great care and instruction was going to be my "tap out cause" for the show. Despite what was shown, IT WAS NOT THE MUSKRAT, it was the orientation camp before insert day that got me sick. Sounds crazy, but living in close proximity to others in unsanitary conditions can spread viruses and bacteria like wildfire.
I, like the 11 other participants (9 selected, 2 alternates and myself) lived in close quarters for several days learning cameras, microphones, shot setups, emergency communications and all types of local flora and fauna. We, including safety, some production and participants all ate out of the same food tent and used two "toilet tents" to take care of business; one for the ladies and the other men. This is how I became ill. I knew I was getting sick about four days into orientation and I started to treat my ailment with wild yarrow. An amazing plant that I knew well and understood its capabilities. Yarrow worked for me before and I had no doubt it was going to help and it did.
A few days later I was feeling much better and took into account that my ailments stemmed from living with several other people in cramped, unsanitary quarters with limited access to water. Ironically, I knew getting out away from everyone was going to be the best solution to my ailments. The last thing you want to tell production is you have a tummy ache, as you would find yourself on the first plan back to Yellow Knife NWT, with an alternate in your place. The Yarrow was working, but not completely, So, I chalked it up to nerves, excitement , anticipation for launch day and washed my hands continuous up until the moment I jumped on the helicopter. Come launch day, I am ready to go and I, just like everybody else finds themselves in bird flying to their respective spot, I land and go into Alone mode.
First couple days no illness, no symptoms...nothing. I focus on shelter and learning the land. Day four symptoms start to return and the search for yarrow begins. I find none. Zero, Zip, Nada...nothing. I try different options like Labrador Teas and even some Vitamin C teas from Crow berries and Cranberries...nothing. I had constant diarrhea and horrible vomiting well before the muskrat. I was loosing vital liquids and nutrients rapidly. I knew I had dysentery as I had had it before, knew the symptoms and their was blood in my stool. I hoped by eating some real food, like a muskrat it might help me on my road to recovery. I was wrong!
My body went into a food shock type scenario when I ate the muskrat. Everything came out continuously. It was bad! When the morning of day eight hit I attempted one last search for yarrow and came up empty handed. Now, severely dehydrated, deprived of vitamins, low on burnable calories and with no heart medications in my system that I desperately need to function...death was not far away. I tapped out and the story continued from there. Most of you saw it on television and said, "damn muskrat" and I said "damn orientation camp". So It goes and life continues. That's my story and I am sticking to it! See you in the bush!