the history channel Only season nine episode three picks up the action on the 12th. Episode two featured the first touch of a survivor (Jacques), and at the end of episode three, the contestant count is still nine.
Episode three, “The Law of the Earth,” includes survival facts about berm shelters (like Jessie’s) that create a natural thermal mass to help absorb/store heat. Some of the contestants are building on top of a muskeg, a swamp made of water and dead vegetation. And willow branches are good for building because of their flexibility. The episode also confirmed that contestants can bring up to two pounds of wire as one of their 10 survival items.
Episode three focused on Jessie, Igor, Adam, Benji, Juan Pablo, and Karie Lee.
Jessie, age 49, Pagosa Springs, CO
Day 12: Jessie is determined to finally get to work on her long-term shelter. Ella’s short-term shelter is close to her, and her long-term shelter will use four existing trees for structural support. She believes that the addition of live trees will make the structure more stable.
The weather is unpredictable and Jessie wants a shelter that is protected from moisture. She admits that she is a workaholic, just like her family. Her mom was a single mom who loved being outdoors, and Jessie thinks about her struggles (paying for college, raising a child on her own, etc.) when the going gets tough.
Day 13: He is happy to have found huge bunches of berries and will feast on them for lunch. She confesses that she is tired of them, but at least they are giving her sustenance. She has lost 15 pounds and has not eaten many calories. She did not expect the food situation to be so difficult.
Jessie hasn’t seen any rabbits or grouse, but there are squirrels nearby. She has experience setting traps and traps, and she places 15 lines of traps on fallen trees. A squirrel yells at her while she works and she confesses that she doesn’t like to kill things but she knows it’s necessary.
A short time later, he gets his first squirrel. Jessie thanks the squirrel for her 270 calorie dinner. She tastes like chicken.
Jessie hopes that once she’s done with her cabin, she can turn her attention to getting more (and bigger) games.
Day 14: Today’s task is to put the support posts in place and build a roof. You’re designing a shelter that doesn’t really fit any particular style. It’s kind of a shed design, but it has other elements.
He’s burning 375 calories an hour working at a shelter and admits it’s going to be more work than he initially thought.
Day 15: Jessie gets some sun before work. She breaks through, checks her traps and finds a dead squirrel. A live one yells at him and then walks over to the dead squirrel. It looks like the squirrel is trying to get her fallen friend up from her, but she doesn’t move. She sits just inches away and chatters, a sound that is absolutely heartbreaking. Jessie apologizes and feels bad to see what she thinks she is the dead squirrel’s mother trying to help her dead child.
Jessie understands that this is how it works, but acknowledges that these animals have feelings. “Every day we live, other things must die, and that’s the law of nature,” she says Jessie. “This is how things work, and we don’t realize in our modern lives that the same thing is happening indirectly due to our actions.”
Igor, 39, Bountiful, UT
Day 12: Igor is eating sea wood, creating a stew that he calls his staple food. Hunting and fishing attempts on him have so far been unsuccessful. He has lost 19 pounds in 12 days and has yet to build a permanent shelter.
Igor’s shelter will eventually be a log cabin because it’s sturdy enough for the area. The winds and animals will not be able to reach him, however, he is disappointed that he has not advanced further. The area is so soft that he decided he needs to build a floor. It’s not ideal, and it’s a lot of work, but the flooring is necessary because of the moisture in the soil.
Igor ends the day and sees a grouse. He throws down his saw and kills, noting that this is the first time he has killed with a saw. The grouse is amazing and Igor thinks it is an indication that he is building in the right place.
Adam, 36, Fayetteville, AR
Day 13: Adam built a decent shelter and decides to add a cob (clay, sand and straw) stone fireplace. His shelter doesn’t allow smoke to escape since it’s well sealed, so he needs to add a chimney. Adam explains that he is using willow and wattle and mud design to build the fireplace and fireplace walls.
Adam sticks to a slow and steady pace and says he doesn’t get flustered easily.
While working on his shelter, he hears a grouse. Instead of potentially wasting an arrow, he uses his throwing staff. He is missed. Fortunately, he has been seeing more grouse near his site, but his success comes mostly from fishing.
He makes a weather flap for his fireplace and then uses his fireplace for the first time. It is holding up well and the structure is smoke free.
Day 15: Adam came up with a vise system to help him work with flies. He uses part of the inner lining of his boot to create different types of flies, some that sink and some that float.
Adam is hungry and has no food stored while he is out fishing. The weather is perfect (although it’s just above freezing) and he thinks he’s doing great so far. Winning would transform the life of his family; His parents get by on just $20,000 a year.
He doesn’t get any bite and decides to put a fishing rod. The level of the river is dropping and he worries that the fishing opportunities in it are running out. He is only fishing in two small areas and all the fish may soon be gone.
Adam takes a break to do “The Hunger Dance” as the songs always make the cut. Only. Adam’s musical talent is about two out of 10; he definitely shouldn’t give up his day job.
Day 16: Adam does some target practice because he has no aim. He has decided that he will do this every day to get better at hunting. His fishing spot is no longer a viable option and he wants to focus his attention on finding a black bear.
While checking the area, he finds his first bolete mushroom. It’s old but still edible.
Adam doesn’t think he can survive more than 80 days without bagging a bear. He finds a good spot on the plateau to spot game and is pleased to find some fresh-looking bear droppings.
Adam decides to keep exploring as he is finding signs of bears. Gambling it all is the only way he will survive and he firmly believes that sitting in his shelter conserving calories is not the way to succeed. Only.
Adam’s practice pays off when he shoots a grouse. He is his first grouse of the adventure after shooting nearly a dozen.
Adam stuffs his grouse with cranberries and other items before cooking the bird. Grouse has a flavor to match, but Adam describes it as having an amazing flavor.
Benji, age 46, Bellevue, ID
Day 14: Benji admires the beauty of his area and the beautiful sky while making his video log. Benji thinks it’s time to get serious about building a rubble shack, as the weather is going to get much colder soon. He finds a spot among the trees near the beach and determines how to position his structure based on wind direction and other factors (including the lack of animal tracks).
Initially focused on familiarizing himself with his area and finding food, he is now ready to work on his permanent shelter. It won’t make a raised platform or bed because it feels more comfortable on the ground.
Benji Island doesn’t have many animals, but it does have squirrels. He shoots one, cooks it, and confesses that he’s not much of an organ eater. However, it will eat the squirrel’s organs because they are loaded with vitamins and minerals.
Benji feels amazing and happy about the amount of food he eats. (He has lost 19 pounds). “I feel more alive every day I’m here,” says Benji. He can’t wait for Labrador to try to break him and is determined to hang on.
Day 16: Benji is having incredible luck fishing and, in fact, he catches so many that he creates a fish stash to store his surplus. Although he came to hunt, fishing provides him with abundant food.
He sees a beaver trail and follows it to the creek. Benji explains that the best way to hunt is to find a high-traffic area and an ambush spot, and discovers the perfect spot to try and find a beaver.
Benji sees one not far away and shoots. He misses, but manages to fire a second shot that hits the beaver but doesn’t kill it. The injured beaver disappears into the water and Benji tries to find out the location of it. He looks at the water but does not come out. Benji looks around and has no luck there either.
It’s getting dark, so he’s giving up for now and will search again in the morning. He hopes that the beaver expires in peace.
Juan Pablo, 30 years old, Pinawa, CAN
Day 14: We catch up with Juan, since he has missed shooting a squirrel. He has explored upriver and found nothing, so he sets off in a different direction. His area is difficult to walk in and he hasn’t eaten much since he shot a grouse 10 days ago.
He comes across a bear print that is larger than his hand, meaning it could weigh over 400 pounds. Juan is happy with the discovery because he is eager to hunt a bear, since that would mean that he would have a month of food. However, a bear near the camp is too dangerous. He sets out some of the cans he found and hangs them up to make noise.
Then Juan comes up with the idea of making a real bell out of an old frying pan and a huge nail.
Karie Lee, 57, Sandpoint, ID
Day 15: Karie washes her hair before working on her goal for day 15 of building her permanent shelter. She states that the earth dictated how to build the shelter and that she is going to use clay to keep warm. She feels blessed with the abundance that the earth has to give.
She places the tarp over the shelter as the temperature drops. Karie hasn’t been eating much and she thinks she needs to take some time to just “be”.
Karie spends her first night in her new shelter and is happy to finally have a fire inside as she prepares to call it a night.
She has discovered that she is a perfectionist and will have to go back in order to survive. Now that the shelter is built, she will focus on getting food.