Alone Week 9: Zach makes it to the final episode!
We’re down to the home stretch, with Appleton resident Zachary Fowler making it to the last episode on the HISTORY survivalist show, Alone. After nine episodes and 74 days surviving alone in the Patagonia wilderness, Zach has managed to hang on along with two other female contestants, Megan and Carleigh. Next week’s final episode will determine the winner of $500,000.
Pilot: I’ll bet there was a lot of cheering at Thresher’s Brewery last night when all of the folks coming out to watch your show week after week realized you still hadn’t tapped out.
Zach: They were loving it. It was funny. Not only were they cheering, but they were yelling at the TV screen, “Don’t give up!”
Pilot: It’s interesting; pretty much every episode we see you with an upbeat attitude, yet this is the first time we’ve seen you frustrated, angry and feeling a little desperate about your situation. What was happening this episode?
Zach: I had so many good days out there, but this episode showed one day that everything went wrong. I called it my “Zero Day.” It literally was the only day I came up with nothing. It was just ridiculous. The lake rose so much; I lost most of my dock. I couldn’t get the fire going. It had been raining for days and I hadn’t caught any fish. I was exhausted. I was so hungry. I was like ‘you’ve got to be kidding me.’ I hung out down at that dock until dark hoping I could just catch one more fish and it didn’t happen. So, I made it back up to shelter and ended up burning my boot insert in the fire a bit. I was trying to dry out my feet because they were wet. I had a leak in my shelter that I hadn’t taken care of and it was leaking on my head as I was trying to go to sleep. So I ended up having to fix that and stay up til one ‘o clock, extremely exhausted.
Pilot: Tell us what did chronic hunger do to you?
Zach: By the time of this last episode, I was eating about a fish a day, and the days I didn’t have a fish, I had fish head soup. So, I hadn’t actually experienced extreme hunger until that Zero Day. And by then I’d probably gone seven days without a fish. I’d had dandelion roots and grubs, but you get to a certain point, like Dave, where you think you’re doing well, you’re doing okay. But, the reality is, your body is consuming itself to give itself energy. You can only go through so much of that before you start to degrade. I was sleeping up to 12 hours a night to make up for the lack of calories I was getting. I was at the point where I was starting to get euphoric and not making good decisions that contributed to that Zero Day.
Pilot: That long in the wilderness, did you have any spiritual breakthrough or moment where you had absolute clarity or a new insight about yourself?
Zach: After that bad day, I realized I’d been just waiting for it to be over. You heard me say “I wish the others would hurry up and just quit.” And when I said that, I thought about it and realized I wasn’t going to make it any further if that’s all I was doing—waiting for it to be over. So, I rededicated myself and repurposed my mental strength to making the best of my situation there. So, that next day, you saw me going back down to the lake and dragging that log out to repair my dock. It was a boost of mental and physical effort to retrain my will to stay there.
Watch to see what happens in the last episode, and what happens to Zach in HISTORY’s next episode of Alone, airing Thursday at 9 p.m.
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org