Fans Get Naked in the Arizona Wilderness

It’s exciting. It’s insertion day. I’m looking forward to it. NARRATOR: Looming 6,000 feet above the desert floor, close to the border of Arizona and New Mexico, lies the Chiricahua mountain range, a natural fortress of rocky terrain once used by the native Apache to repel invaders.

It’s very cold outside right now. It’s basically like sitting in an ice box without the– the moisture in the air. NARRATOR: Radical elevation changes between the mountains and desert generate extreme fluctuations in temperature that can send 100 degree days plummeting into the 40s at night.

[HOWLING] In this dynamic ecosystem, venomous Mojave rattlesnakes share the canyons with mountain lions, and the rare American Jaguar. And Ponderosa pine grow among Joia, prickly pear, and fishhook cacti, whose thorns litter the rocky terrain.

My first impressions of the Chiricahua wilderness is, it’s going to hurt. There’s a lot of things out there that are going to prick me and poke me. It’s very mountainous, very hilly, a lot more than I was expecting.

I’m Matt, and I’m from Benton, Arkansas, and I’m a security contractor for a family business. I’ve been in Scouts since I was in Tiger Cubs, and I’m a third generation Eagle Scout. With this challenge, I’m basically going against everything that I was taught growing up.

In Scouts, the motto is “be prepared.” So this, I’m stepping out into a realm where I am completely unprepared, and I have to rely on mental preparation. This fan challenge is going to prove that I’m mentally tough enough to deal without the equipment that I would normally pack in.

Arkansas is known as the “Natural State.” We have not had anyone from the natural state complete a challenge yet. Am I ready? Absolutely. Arkansas has got this. I’ve been having babies for five years, and I have been watching this show, dreaming of the day that I get to come on it.

It’s so real. I can’t believe I’m here and I’m about to get naked. And what I’m looking at reminds me that I’m a novice, and this is new to me. But I’m super strong, mentally. I hope that by the end of 14 days I can earn that title that I am a survivalist.

One of my concerns is there’s not a lot of leafy tree. Toilet paper might have been on the agenda for survival out here. All right, let’s do this. What I’m most worried about is getting pulled from the challenge.

I don’t want to be in a scenario that’s beyond my control. Here we go, it’s game time. OK, let’s do it. It’ll be strange. It’ll be awkward. Normally I’m a modest person. Like, I don’t even wear spaghetti straps, I wear a one-piece mom suit.

Only a stay-at-home mom would sign up for a “Naked and Afraid” fan challenge to get a break from their children, so here’s my vacation. It’s time! Let’s go! [CLAPS] This is way harder on your feet than it looks! NARRATOR: Ashley has spent the last five years raising her three children, and is known in her family as a badass mom.

But her lack of survival skills could compromise her challenge. She begins with a Primitive Survival Rating, or PSR, of 4.8. Matt is a former Scout who thrives on being prepared, but an inexperienced partner could test his patience.

He begins with a PSR of 5.4. Hey! Hey, how’s it going! I’m Ashley. I’m Matt. Oh, my gosh, here we go! We’re walking now. What do you think of these rocks? Thank you. Oh. – How are you doing? – I’m great.

Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you. Uh. This is weird, right? Very weird. Oh, my gosh. Big fan of the show? I’ve seen, like, every episode. Good deal. Me, too. Got any babies? One baby, a baby boy. I got three.

Oh, congratulations! So help me not miss them. And I’ll help you not miss yours. We’ll see. We’ll talk about them a lot. Yeah. Want to check out our bags? – Absolutely, let’s do this. – Awesome. Yay. NARRATOR: The team has been given a pot.

Matt has brought his hatchet, and Ashley, a fire starter. I really want to be warm at night. Absolutely. It’s cold out here. – Yeah, and boil our water. – Could I have the map? You want to take a look at it? Woo hoo! We probably want to head towards that water right there, but look at all this stuff in between.

Some Diamondbacks, and golly, there’s a jaguar. Oh, my gosh, I didn’t know those were in Arizona. Ah, get out there and say “here, kitty, kitty,” see what happens. Oh, no! Don’t do that! [LAUGHS] Let’s do this.

All right, let’s go. All righty. Recognize what view you got back there. Oh, I’m sorry. If it makes you uncomfortable, I’ll move forward. No, no, no! I could promise you I’m staring straight– straight at the ground.

I can totally tell that Matt has my back. He is being a total gentleman. I totally feel safe with him already. Ow! Ah! Easy. Ow! Everything has teeth. Yeah. Ow! I had no idea the hike in would be this long and grueling.

I wasn’t prepared for that. Fudgsicles! Do you like my mom cuss words? [LAUGHING] D’oh! [BLEEP] Oh, every frickin’ step is hotter than the other. Ow! A lot easier when you’re sitting on your couch.

Absolutely nothing like feet TV. I see a bottom area. You see a bottom area? Yeah. Woo hoo! That is some bear turds. NARRATOR: Black bears pose the largest physical threat in the area, and can detect a scent from 20 miles away.

Ooh, there’s a little sand. Oh! Is that water? I think I found water. – Oh, you’re my hero. – I think I did! I think I did! Praise the Lord, hallelujah, thank God. Oh, it’s not what I wanted, but it’s something.

Mosquito fly central [BLEEP]. There’s no natural spring like I envisioned. It’s not an oasis. The good news is, we got water. And there’s quite a few fish in there. Hearing my partner say that she was hoping for an oasis, I think we came into this challenge with a couple of different mindsets.

I’m going to try to stay positive with her. How about a place to camp? This is where things come for water in the middle of the night. – Right. We don’t need to be anywhere near this. Totally agree. So what I think we need to do is take our pot, fill it with water all the way, carry it up somewhere flat.

We actually have to go up the hill and hike a little bit to scope out a different spot. Even though our feet are tired, it’s going to be worth it because we’re not going to be in the way of dangerous game at night.

That sun’s got an hour, max. Probably a good 1/8 of a mile from the water. It’s flatter up here. What do you think of this spot right here, Matt? Yeah, this’ll work. All right. I think at this point we’re really running out of daylight really fast.

We’ve got a pot full of water that I’d really like to get boiling. OK. I’ll rake this back. Do you need help getting the fire started? No. The grass will serve as sort of our shelter for the time being.

Geez. This is way harder than I thought it would be. You focus on getting us fire, and I’ll focus on getting us comfortable. Because right now, water would help me out so much. Look at you. Oh, that feels good! We’re not going to freeze tonight.

That means we’re going to make it through one night. I wanted to get this water boiling as soon as possible. I know I am parched. I figure you are, too. Uh-huh. I really need some water. It’s getting rough.

We got water and fire. We’re going to survive. Freezing. Are you shivering? Yeah, my legs are getting cold. I’ll lay with you if you want to lay down for a minute. Yeah, right here? OK. OK. Tonight all we have is body heat.

We haven’t made a shelter yet, so we’ve got the fire and each other. I just grabbed your hand like you’re my husband, I’m sorry. You’re fine. Oh. I am very nervous to lay with grass around me. There’s not a lot between you and whatever is out there.

[RUSTLING] – Oh, my god! – What? What? What? I don’t know. [CLAPPING LOUDLY] Git! Git! Git! Git! It was a deer. Yeah? A deer snorting. You sure? Positive.

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