Alone Week 3: Things start to get serious for Zach

Mon, 12/26/2016 - 6:15pm

    We’re following A&E Networks' History survivalist show Alone, Season 3, thanks to local survivalist, Zachary Fowler, of Appleton, one of the remaining nine contestants on the unscripted show who try to survive all alone in the Patagonia wilderness.

    In last week's episode, the euphoria of being in Patagonia has pretty much worn off for most of the contestants by nearly the third week as the temperatures dropped.

    We had some more questions for Appleton resident Zachary Fowler to explain what we saw in the show this week:

    Pilot: Describe to us the terrain you were dealing with.

    Zach: We had our territory between 6 to 10 square miles and about a quarter of a mile of waterfront on the lake. I had to stay within a certain distance of my water source, but it was really dark down there under the growth, so I looked for a better spot higher on the mountain. It was about a 45 degree angle going up. I spent a lot of time making trails and switchbacks to get up to where I wanted to build a more permanent shelter.

    Pilot: Why did you want to move your shelter?

    Zach: Patagonia has an extreme climate change. The lake could rise three feet over night and there was only 15 feet between the steep hill and the water's edge. It wouldn't have been a long-term solution to stay there.

    Pilot: You seemed to get the short end of the stick when it came to your camping spot.

    Zach: Yeah, I might have been the only one in the group that drew a lot that didn't have a sunny area.

    Pilot: Tell us what was going on in your mind when you got emotional over not having any sun for more than a week. 

    Zach: After spending a week under clouds and overcast sky, I thought the sun was eventually going to come out, but I was disoriented. Once I realized I was on the south side of the mountain and that spot wasn't going to get any light even when the sun was out: that was hard. I managed to hike up to one spot on the mountain where a single ray would shine though, but it was very rare. Most of the time the mountains had clouds all around. You don't think about it in the civilized world, but if you don't have sun for the foreseeable future, it's painful.

    Pilot: The show depicted you making an ancient style of wattle fencing for a retaining wall. Did you already know how to make that kind of fencing?

    Zach: Oh yeah, I made wattle fencing all around our property in Appleton. When I saw that we had access to bamboo, I though that was the coolest thing ever. I was making all kinds of things with it. I was like Swiss Family Robinson out there building terraces, hand rails and walk ways.
    Pilot: In the last scene of the show we saw you using one of your handmade sling shots at a duck in the lake and the duck going down. Did you get a duck dinner?

    Zach: You're going to have to wait and see.

    Check out Zach’s latest Makery and Mischief video to see how he makes and uses his own slingshots.

    Stay tuned to watch Fowler in History’s next episode of Alone, airing Thursday at 9 p.m.

    Kay Stephens can be reached at