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HomeOff Grid & Self SufficiencyCarleigh Fairchild: Discusses Her Time on the TV Present Alone

Carleigh Fairchild: Discusses Her Time on the TV Present Alone

Tright here’s one thing primal that stirs inside us on the considered being remoted in a distant place. As social creatures, many people instinctively draw back from conditions that separate us from our fellow people. Others are drawn to solitude, in order that they could extra clearly hear their interior voice — a voice that’s typically drowned out by the modern-day digital hum that permeates our lives. The latter people usually stay secluded just for a brief time period, earlier than having to return to the social duties their lives demand. Nevertheless, there are an elite few who’ve grappled with not solely the bodily risks of the distant wilderness, but additionally with their very own interior demons for months at a time with out one other human soul to lean on for help. Carleigh Fairchild is one such particular person.

For the reason that age of 13, her life has been immersed in wilderness survival and survival abilities coaching. After turning 18, she moved to Washington state to study primitive abilities, and examined herself by efficiently solo backpacking 500 miles on the Pacific Crest Path. Having traveled the nation honing her abilities, she took on certainly one of common tradition’s most troublesome survival challenges by changing into a contestant on Historical past Channel’s Alone — not as soon as, however twice.

Carleigh Fairchild working on a pioneering project.

First, she went to the foothills of the Andes mountains in Patagonia, Argentina, on Season 3. She returned to the present on Season 5, which came about in Mongolia. In the present day, Carleigh makes use of her huge expertise by instructing others the way to reconnect with their environment and themselves, very like our not-so-distant ancestors did each day. We have been capable of attend a wild edibles class she was instructing on the Georgia Bushcraft Campground close to Watkinsville, Georgia, and had the chance to take a seat down along with her to study extra about her survival expertise and what it was prefer to survive for 86 days in Patagonia, alone.

Carleigh Fairchild Interview

RECOIL OFFGRID: You began studying wilderness survival abilities as a toddler, what do you are feeling drew you to that endeavor?

Carleigh Fairchild: My mother began me on the trail of studying survival abilities when she went to the Tracker Faculty run by Tom Brown Jr. in New Jersey. They’ve all kinds of lessons. They begin with their Customary Course which covers just about the entire fundamentals of survival abilities, after which there’s extra superior survival abilities and monitoring lessons.

She got here residence from that and confirmed me the bow drill equipment she had made. It was my first take a look at making a fireplace with out matches or a lighter. I used to be fascinated that you possibly can actually rub two sticks collectively and make a coal. I wished to study extra. Fortunately, I used to be capable of attend a teen summer time camp the following yr once I was 13 to study earth abilities. I cherished the connection the abilities dropped at me — reference to the earth, reference to my very own skills, and reference to others additionally captivated with these abilities.

Carleigh in a debris shelter.

Above: As a younger teenager, Carleigh hung out within the woods constructing shelters and training wilderness abilities.

ROG: Earth abilities is a time period you don’t hear too typically. What do you imply by that?

CF: Earth abilities are principally something that entails working with the earth. Issues like drill fires, discovering water, constructing shelters. Generally I nonetheless use the time period survival abilities, however I’m making an attempt to deliberately use “earth abilities” extra typically, as a result of they’re abilities that can be utilized in day by day life, not solely when making an attempt to outlive.

All too typically the survival mindset is certainly one of shortage and fixed problem. I wish to stay a lifetime of abundance and ease, a minimum of a few of the time. So why am I simply surviving once I wish to stay and thrive? That was my focus once I was on Alone — I’m not right here surviving, I’m right here to stay.

ROG: What have been a few of the most difficult abilities you developed, and why have been they so troublesome?

CF: Flint knapping and trapping. It has been more durable for me to attach with these abilities and see and know the way they work. I feel this was as a result of I used to be much less drawn to them, partly due to curiosity and partly as a result of I typically have a troublesome time understanding issues just like the construction of rocks or trapping dynamics. I could make a stone instrument, however I don’t actually knap items into blades or arrow heads. For the time being, I’ve a serviceable stage of ability in these areas, however I don’t actually spend a whole lot of time on them. I really feel all people is drawn to sure issues in life, and for me, I’m drawn to different abilities.

Photo of Carleigh Solo hiking a 500-mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Above: Solo climbing a 500-mile part of the Pacific Crest Path.

ROG: How was survival totally different in Patagonia versus Alaska or the continental United States?

CF: There have been so many species of vegetation, bushes, birds, and animals I used to be unfamiliar with in Patagonia, however that made it thrilling to study. Earlier than I arrived there, I had a brief period of time — perhaps two to a few weeks — the place I attempted to analysis as a lot as I may in regards to the area. However the area was so enormous, it was difficult to study all the pieces about it. Even the moon regarded totally different as a result of I used to be within the southern hemisphere and a lot of the constellations have been totally different. It’s just a little just like the jap United States, the place you’ve all the pieces from swamps in Florida to the hardwood forests in Maine, and all the pieces in between. There are a whole lot of distinct species, so it was a little bit of a shot at nighttime researching earlier than I went.

As soon as we have been on the bottom there, we had just a little little bit of time to study. We have been staying on a method of ranch, and there actually wasn’t anybody to assist us get acquainted with the realm. We had a short orientation, however as soon as we have been on the market competing, there wasn’t anybody we may ask inquiries to. I feel I discovered perhaps three new vegetation that have been useful that I discovered in my space. All the opposite ones that I harvested for meals have been ones that I knew from america.

The forest in Patagonia was primarily evergreen broadleaf bushes, however the leaves have been very tiny. When it got here to shelter constructing, I used to be challenged by the leaves being so small. I couldn’t collect nice large armloads, solely small handfuls. So I needed to make a bag out of the cowhide I discovered to collect them. 

ROG: Some of the troublesome challenges for Alone contestants are the emotions that accompany isolation. What was the simplest methodology of dealing with loneliness that you simply used to outlast your opponents?

CF: My coping technique started once I first landed on the pebble seashore the place I began. Despite the fact that there was a urgent must get a shelter made, get a fireplace going, and discover the realm, the very first thing I did was really sit down and take just a few deep breaths and observe the place I used to be earlier than simply speeding off. Throughout this course of, I launched myself to the land, and stated out loud what my intentions have been for being there. One thing alongside the strains of, “Hey, I’m Carleigh. I’m right here to construct a house and stay right here for so long as I can as a caretaker of the land, and hopefully be right here lengthy sufficient to win.” On this manner, although I used to be alone the entire time I used to be not lonely fairly often.

I constructed private connections with the character round me — the birds, vegetation, bushes, mountains, and the lake. Connecting with nature was my simplest methodology of dealing with loneliness. Being emotionally trustworthy and recognizing once I felt that isolation turning into loneliness was useful as properly. When I discovered myself eager about my family members, I acknowledged my emotions, then did my greatest to redirect again to the current second and what I wanted to do.

Fairchild Hiking and enjoying the natural beauty of Alaska.

Above: Mountaineering and having fun with the pure fantastic thing about Alaska.

As my time within the Patagonia wilderness progressed, I continued constructing connections with the land by exploring the land day by day and making a psychological map of the place all the pieces was. Sure areas would stand out in my thoughts — like sure bushes, recreation trails, berry patches, locations for firewood — and I’d place them on my psychological map as if I used to be wanting down on it from above. Taking my position as a caretaker of the land significantly, if I needed to harvest a sapling for my shelter, or meals, or firewood, I did so in a manner that those left behind would hopefully develop stronger and more healthy. This deepened my reference to the land and was a respectful and reciprocating relationship.

ROG: Out of all of the survival abilities you’ve discovered over the course of your life, what are your high three you’ll advocate everybody ought to study?

CF: I’d cut up abilities into two classes, smooth abilities and arduous abilities, so I’ll offer you three of every. For smooth abilities, the three most essential I feel could be the facility of remark, having the ability to improvise/adapt, and trusting your self. The three most essential arduous abilities I feel could be pure shelter making, hearth making, and basket making. I do know the discuss of which abilities are an important is usually a contentious topic, however rivalry could be useful typically.

Now once I say the facility of remark, that encompasses so much, and is not only what you see along with your eyes. It’s extra of a developed consciousness. What we’re (or aren’t) conscious of limits us and what we imagine is feasible. So, it’s about having the ability to observe what’s occurring round us externally, what’s occurring with our our bodies internally, and the way these processes drive us in a circumstantial and contextual manner. It’s actually a full spectrum sense of bodily consciousness coupled with mindfulness, instinct, and even spirituality.

Your energy of remark ties in on to improvisation and adaptation, as a result of when your consciousness is developed, you can begin asking your self questions like, “what do I want?” or “what do I’ve that may make one thing I want?” Then you can begin searching for a possible useful resource to handle that concern. If we don’t know what we want, then how can we even start to search for an answer? If we are able to determine what’s round us and know what assets can be found, then we are able to start the method of adapting and improvising.

Trusting ourselves just isn’t very predominant in our society today, however it’s a important ability. There are such a lot of issues in advertising and marketing or promoting which are saying issues like, you’re not ok, or you want this merchandise to really feel good. I feel we are literally born with the flexibility to know a whole lot of issues, and due to how many individuals develop up, we don’t preserve that belief in ourselves. It will get overshadowed by the exterior issues that get projected on us. I feel it’s one thing that all of us must work on extra and rediscover about ourselves.

Shelter making is a ability that’s tremendous essential in each surroundings, as a result of we’re people, and we want safety from excessive warmth, chilly, precipitation, and so on. So, should you don’t have a constructing to shelter in, understanding the way to construct your individual is essential. Plus, I feel it’s only a enjoyable ability to study.

Carleigh Fairchild After a successful turkey hunt.

Above: After a profitable turkey hunt.

Hearth-making is essential as a result of it would cook dinner meals, purify water, preserve you dry, and is usually a weapon should you’re involved about some loopy animals or individuals. It will possibly even be a consolation merchandise. Studying the way to make a fireplace is one other enjoyable ability that’s simple to apply in your yard or with pals. You can too problem your self by seeing should you can collect sufficient gadgets to begin a fireplace in 5 minutes or much less.

Basket-making makes it to my high three arduous abilities as a result of for any long-term survival scenario and even weekend survival tenting, we want containers to carry issues. We want containers to carry the meals that we forage, storage of fire-making provides, and if a container is sealed correctly, transport bigger volumes of water. It’s a really utilitarian merchandise that makes life a lot simpler.

There are such a lot of different abilities which are wrapped up into these three, like knife or ax abilities and plant identification. If you understand how to construct a shelter, begin a fireplace, or make a basket, you’ll have a number of different important abilities already in your toolbox.

ROG: How did the locals in South America and Mongolia react to your objectives as an Alone contestant?

CF: We had very restricted time in South America to work together with locals — nearly none. They introduced us to a neighborhood farm for a mini cultural expertise in Patagonia, however there wasn’t a whole lot of one-on-one dialog occurring. Mongolia was roughly the identical. Through the restricted interplay I had with locals, they appeared to be excited for us but additionally very curious as to why we have been making an attempt to outlive there. They wished us properly.

ROG: How did your expertise in Patagonia have an effect on the gadgets you determined to pack and produce with you to Mongolia?

CF: My expertise in Patagonia affected my alternative of things to pack once I went to Mongolia, as a result of I had a greater understanding of simply how essential it was to have the ability to get meals. So, I wished to extend my instruments that will assist me acquire extra meals assets. In Mongolia, as a substitute of an ax, I introduced a bow and arrows in hopes that I’d be capable to harvest a bigger animal.

One in all my largest shifts in mindset going between the 2 places was that I wanted to spend extra time specializing in vitamin. A number of occasions within the first three weeks at Patagonia, discovering meals was nearly an afterthought, and I centered totally on making my shelter. I believed I may simply quick or eat a tiny bit and be superb. It didn’t take lengthy to understand that making that alternative time and again isn’t useful. So, beginning on day one in Mongolia, I made a aware effort to spend a number of hours a day discovering meals, whether or not that was looking, foraging, or fishing.

Photo of Carleigh Starting a fire with the bow drill method.

Above: Beginning a fireplace with the bow drill methodology.

ROG: You’re instructing your individual course now, Human Nature Connection: Survival Secrets and techniques That Can Save & Develop Your Life, Bond Your Household & Unite Your Crew. How is your course distinctive in comparison with different survival programs?

CF: I bought the concept for Human Nature Connection from my time surviving out within the wild of Patagonia for 86 days. Whereas fully alone, I spotted how essential survival abilities usually are not only for the present I used to be a participant on, however in our day by day lives. The abilities go a lot deeper than making and discovering shelter, water, hearth, and meals. I discovered to actually join with nature and myself on the market, and it helped me come again and be a lot stronger in my relationship with myself, my vital different, and with groups at work. I imagine extra individuals may use these abilities to boost their lives and relationships at residence and work.

This isn’t only a course, however a system designed to assist executives, enterprise homeowners, and entrepreneurs achieve survival abilities crucial in these unsure occasions, whereas additionally permitting them to reconnect again to themselves, bond extra with their household, and unite their groups.

The incidence charge of pure disasters, artifical disasters, leisure mishaps, and results from the silent epidemic of disconnection are rising day by day. To outlive and thrive on this new world, you want to develop survival abilities to take care of shifts in nature, conditions, and your moment-to-moment actuality by having the fundamental survival abilities of shelter, water, hearth, meals, so it can save you your life or these you’re keen on. These abilities are additionally the hidden instruments for deepening inner and relational connections that assist us be resilient within the face of the silent epidemic of disconnection. 

What makes Human Nature Connection distinctive is how the 4 Pillars of Survival Dwelling and the 4 Parts of Survival Dwelling grow to be a bridge to beat the challenges that fashionable life throws at us every single day. And also you don’t must expertise it alone. I provide the course as a hybrid with on-line content material, teaching calls, and an in-person immersion expertise. You may take it along with your vital different, household, or staff.

It’s highly effective to see how revitalized individuals are after taking the course. Individuals who have been coping with a whole lot of nervousness and worry of their life once they began the course usually are not held again any longer by the fears and nervousness after finishing this system. Entrepreneurs have began new companies to assist their communities in an impactful manner. It’s actually profound to see what individuals can grow to be once they work on growing these inner and relational survival dwelling abilities. You may learn extra in regards to the course at

Carleigh lived off the land in Patagonia and filmed herself for 86 days on History Channel’s Alone Season 3.

Above: Carleigh lived off the land in Patagonia and filmed herself for 86 days on Historical past Channel’s Alone Season 3.

ROG: If you’re at a talking engagement, what are a few of the most typical questions your viewers appears excited about, and what are your solutions?

CF: “How was the transition residence?”

I used to be stuffed with gratitude for the individuals in my life and attending to be with them once more in particular person. I cherished consuming contemporary meals out of my backyard and eggs from my chickens and geese.

“Was there something troublesome about going residence?”

Consuming once more was wonderful. And it was additionally difficult. I discovered that I bought full in a short time however wished to maintain consuming. As a result of my abdomen and stomach muscular tissues had shrunk, it was painful to be overfull. I additionally had some physique picture points as I returned to my common weight, by the point my thoughts would get used to the best way I regarded, I’d have gotten heavier once more.

“What was the toughest half about being on the market?”

Two issues. One was really whereas fishing. The cycle of hope and disappointment that occurred each time I forged out and didn’t catch a fish. Second, so many issues being unknown was arduous, particularly as time went on. I may get misplaced for some time worrying about how lengthy I is likely to be there and what number of different individuals have been left.

“Do you’ve a scar from the fishhook [that got embedded in your hand in Mongolia]? Has your hand recovered?”

Sure, I’ve a small scar and my hand has recovered from the fishhook being in it.

ROG: What would you want Alone viewers to grasp once they’re watching the present?

CF: That there are actually a whole bunch of hours typically of issues occurring that don’t get seen on the present. For all you viewers on the market, should you query why somebody is doing one thing, keep in mind there is likely to be a complete lot extra occurring than what you see. Don’t decide. Be a witness to the journey of the individuals on Alone.

ROG: For all these aspiring survivalists on the market, what recommendation would you give them earlier than they try one thing just like what you probably did on Alone?

CF: Know the fundamentals. Know the way to make shelter, the way to make fires in all various kinds of climate. Study many various methods to get meals, like understanding edible vegetation or methods to hunt, entice, or fish. In case you’re not consuming, you’re not going to make it for lengthy. Boil your water. If you wish to take a look at your abilities, you may take it one step at a time. For instance, take all of your gear besides a shelter and go apply constructing a pure shelter. Or go away your fashionable fire-starter at residence and go apply a fireplace by friction methodology. Keep in mind to let somebody know the place you’re going and about how lengthy you propose to be out, even should you go along with another person. If you wish to go on a present like Alone, my suggestion could be to get proficient on the fundamentals of shelter, water, hearth, and meals abilities so you may apply them anyplace you go.

Photo of Fairchild fishing in Alaska.

Above: Fishing in Alaska.

ROG: What do you do to keep up your survival ability set?

CF: Generally I take advantage of a bow drill to begin my yard fires. I’ll make baskets, tan hides, and train lessons. The ability set I apply day by day is mindset, consciousness, connection, and curiosity. These together with a basis of survival abilities are what is going to assist you to survive any pure catastrophe or survival scenario. They may also assist you to stay with much less stress and extra pleasure each day!

ROG: What are some frequent errors you see when individuals are making an attempt to study and develop their survival abilities?

CF: It’s all too frequent for individuals to guage themselves when studying a brand new ability and provides themselves a tough time for not getting it instantly. I additionally see others — and I’m responsible of it myself — pondering that you must be manner on the market in the course of nowhere to apply abilities. Nicely, we don’t must, typically abilities could be practiced in our backyards or a neighborhood inexperienced house. You may even use supplies from a neighborhood ironmongery store should you don’t have the pure assets out there. One other nice approach is to construct issues, miniaturized. For instance, should you can’t construct a full-blown shelter to sleep in attributable to house limitations or out there assets, simply construct a smaller model. You could not be capable to sleep in it, however you’ll perceive the mechanics of it higher when it comes time to make the true factor.

ROG: Is there any ability you wish to study that you haven’t gotten round to but?

CF: Working with animal cover. I’ve tanned just a few hides through the years, however I’ve by no means taken that ability to the following stage and made one thing out of it. Naturally tanned hides work just a little otherwise than hides which were commercially tanned. You need to be extra cautious once you reduce and stitch, in any other case the fibers within the leather-based will tear. My purpose is to ultimately make a shirt and a hoodie out of animal hides I’ve tanned.

ROG: You may have a guide in improvement. Is there something you may share relating to what it’s about, and once we can anticipate to see it come up on the market?

CF: My guide is a memoir on my time dwelling 86 days in Patagonia. It’s written from a day-to-day perspective, and the reader follows together with the struggles and joys I skilled. Interwoven are tales from different elements of my life that I mirrored on whereas I used to be there, and the bits of knowledge that I discovered alongside the best way. Relying on the enhancing and publishing course of, you may anticipate it to be up on the market in 2023 or early 2024. One of the best ways to study in regards to the progress of the publication is to join the e-newsletter on my web site and also you’ll be one of many first to learn about it.

Carleigh Fairchild Data

Photo of carleigh fairchild on top of a hill.


I grew up in Columbus, Ohio. I at the moment stay in Asheville, North Carolina.


  • AA in Early Childhood Particular Schooling
  • Accomplished the 7-year Niasziih Therapeutic program at wildernessFusion.

Childhood Idols

  • Karana from Island of the Blue Dolphins
  • My aunt and uncle who had a farm to lift and develop their very own meals.

Survival Coaching/Expertise

  • Alone Season 3 in Patagonia, 86 days (medically evacuated)
  • Alone Season 5 in Mongolia, 5 days (medically evacuated)
  • Coyote Tracks Applications – NJ
  • 28-day Survival Quest program – NJ
  • Solo Survival Journey – OH
  • Trackerschool: Customary, Superior Customary, Superior Monitoring, Philosophy 1-4 – NJ
  • Earthwalk Northwest: Ancestral Dwelling Abilities Apprenticeship, Plant and Ethnobotany Apprenticeship, and the Path of the Hunter program – WA
  • Group Survival Journey – WA
  • 500 miles solo hike on PCT – WA
  • Wilderness First Responder trained- NC
  • Intern for Panoramic Journeys in Mongolia

Really helpful Studying Listing

Favourite Drinks

  • Contemporary spring water — not bottled — straight from the supply
  • Mojito or whiskey old school

Favourite Quote

“Twenty years from now you can be extra upset by the belongings you didn’t do than by those you probably did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the protected harbor. Catch the commerce winds in your sails. Discover. Dream. Uncover.” – Mark Twain

URL/Social Media:

EDC Gear

  • Pocket knife (at the moment a Woodsmonkey Banana Peel folder)
  • Chapstick (do-it-yourself all-purpose therapeutic salve)
  • Wazoo Cache Belt and/or a Spark Necklace

Carleigh Fairchild Teaching students about wild edibles

Above: Instructing college students about wild edibles.

Last Ideas

From the protection of our dwelling rooms, it’s simple to look at a present like Alone and critique contestants from our sofas. What we see are the characters the present needs us to see for the sake of leisure. However what we miss are the years of coaching and preparation, the a whole bunch of hours in between 10-second clips, and the true interior turmoil every contestant goes by way of. Till we take a look at ourselves in an analogous manner, we’ve got no true understanding of what it’s prefer to survive on our personal in austerity for weeks at a time. So, when somebody like Carleigh Fairchild decides to show us one thing, or share that have, we’d all profit by paying shut consideration.


  • Q: The place is Carleigh Fairchild now?
    A: Carleigh is at the moment a nanny, practitioner of NIASZIIH therapeutic, earth abilities teacher, public speaker, and an envoy for LT Wright Handcrafted Knives.
  • Q: Why was Carleigh Fairchild evacuated?
    A: Carleigh Fairchild, was pulled out from Season 3 as a result of, at 101 lbs/45.8 kg, she had misplaced almost 30% of her beginning physique weight and had a BMI of 16.8. Members are mechanically “pulled” at a BMI of 17 or much less. She was evacuated from Season 5 attributable to a severe harm.
  • Q:What number of occasions was Carleigh on Alone?
    A: She was on Season 3 and Season 5.

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