Self Defense Instructor
Fort Collins, CO
Barry Karcher is a self-defense instructor, teaching Krav Maga and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Fort Collins, Colorado. A minimalist bushcrafter, Barry has been hunting, fishing, and trapping since he was nine. The opportunity to be on Alone is a dream come true for Barry, but he’ll be leaving behind his lovely wife and four children, including his newborn daughter. He’s looking forward to a long future of sharing all the survival and primitive skills he’s acquired over his lifetime.
San Antonio, TX
Brady Nicholls is an active duty SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) Specialist for the USAF and is currently stationed in San Antonio, TX. He first was introduced to primitive bush craft while working for the Anasazi foundation. After 6 years of working for Anasazi, Brady enlisted in USAF SERE program. There, he has become an instructor, teaching military personnel how to survive in the most remote and hostile environments on the planet. Brady plans to finish his degree and become a clinical social worker after the military. He looks forward to winning season 6 of Alone and returning home to his wife and four beautiful children.
Primitive Technology Instructor
Donny Dust owns and operates Paleo Tracks Survival, Colorado’s premier survival and wilderness self-reliance school. A true practitioner of primitive technologies, bushcraft, and survival, Donny has nearly two decades worth of outdoor survival skills and primitive living skills experience. His experiences extend into all geographies of the world; specifically, the remote jungles of Southeast Asia, the deserts of the Middle East and the snow-capped mountains of North America. Donny has served in the United States Marine Corps and can be found living in many of the remote regions of the Rocky Mountains when he is not teaching.
Donny is a published author, having recently debuted his new book Scavenger, as well as providing his insights through publications in many mainstream survival and wilderness living magazines. He also provides insights into the survival and primitive living communities as a guest lecturer at major outdoor events, podcasts and through radio appearances. Donny is an expert flintknapper and primitive technologist – his skills and knowledge are often sought out to teach professional hunters, survival instructors, wilderness guides, and military personnel. As a modern-day primitive hunter, gatherer and scavenger, Donny employs his expertise to hunt with the simplest of tools imaginable and truly thrive in any environment. When it comes to knowing more and carrying less, living of the land and harnessing all the natural world offers…Donny Dust is truly a master of his craft.
Jordan Jonas grew up on a farm in Idaho. Though he traveled around the earth riding freight trains, reindeer, and Soviet era APCs, his life path can be effectively traced by recalling his injuries. Not long after he spent a summer riding freight trains across the country he had his first knee surgery. Soon after, he set off for Siberia where he would eventually learn to fur trap and survive in one of the most remote places on earth. While in these harsh conditions he spent a month and a half alone in the wilderness where he survived a fall through the ice into a frozen river – alone and miles from a cabin. After that learning experience, he began living with nomadic Evenki reindeer herders deep in the taiga. Of course, those years were not without incident either, including chopping a tendon in his good knee that left him immobilized for three days in a tipi, pulling himself out of a mud bog that enveloped him to his shoulders, having his ribs broken by a reindeer, and nearly dying after accidentally ingesting a mouthful of gasoline. After all these invaluable experiences, he made his way back to the United States where he would meet his future wife. Predictably, while riding an ATV with her he crashed and became the second person (after her) to see his skull. He remembers these (and many other) injuries often, and they have made him approach life more thoughtfully.
Michelle Wohlberg is a homestead pioneer thriving in the central area of Saskatchewan with her son Lars and her husband Dan. Michelle’s lifestyle places her in the forefront of long-term sustainability and self-sufficiency. When not helping out her fellow remote neighbors, she is hunting and trapping to fill her family’s food stores for the harsh Canadian winters. Considered a leader in her community and key influencer in both homesteading and outdoor survival skills, Michelle is looking forward to teaching survival and outdoor experiences from a camp in Northern Saskatchewan, where she hopes to empower people through ancestral knowledge.
Disaster Preparedness Instructor
Lopez Island, WA
Nathan Donnelly hails from the Salish Sea off the coast of Washington where he lives on a small island. He owns and operates a permaculture design business wherein he uses ecological principles to create synergy on his clients’ homesteads. Additionally, he is the crew coordinator for the local youth conservation corps, and teaches nature awareness and survival courses whenever possible. He volunteers for his local oil spill response organization, public lands, and in the efforts to protect the Salish Sea and its orca population.
In the past he has been a wildlife biologist, backcountry park ranger, wildland firefighter, search and rescue team member, builder, outfitter, and homestead caretaker. He is an avid traditional bowhunter, kayak fisherman, backpacker, bushcrafter, mountaineer, and cyclist. In the future he would like to more fully explore teaching survival nature connection, disaster preparedness, and permaculture, hopefully from his own piece of land bought with the winnings from Alone.
Nikki van Schyndel
Echo Bay, Canada
Nikki van Schyndel has studied and taught under the best earth skills educators in North America and dedicated her life to her naturalist studies for over 18 years. In the early 2000’s, Nikki lived primitively on a deserted island in the Broughton Archipelago of British Columbia for nearly two years. There in the wilderness she tested her skills, learned the truths of survival and eventually, put all her experiences into her book Becoming Wild.
Not your stereotypical survivalist, Nikki has finally found the balance between ancient and modern life. She now lives off-the-grid on an island in the tiny, coastal community of Echo Bay, B.C. in an idyllic log cabin she built herself. She dreams of becoming a member of the Explorers Club.
Search and Rescue K9 Handler
Ray was born on Portland Oregon. He moved out to Gresham, Oregon where he attended Sam Barlow High school. Ray graduated in 1992 as the #1 rated high school track and field athlete in the United States. Ray accepted a scholarship to the University of Oregon where he was twice an All-American and a member of 2 USA JR. National track teams and the 1996 USA/Visa/Healthsouth decathlon team. Ray was an English major and philosophy minor at U of O. After college, Ray spent time as a police officer in Eugene, OR, before moving into the transportation industry; the industry where he continues to work today.
Ray is an avid bow hunter, upland game bird hunter and hiker. Because of his love for the outdoors, he started developing his wilderness skills as a safeguard against any problems he might encounter during his solo wilderness outings. This eventually led Ray to start volunteering as a search and rescue K9 handler in 2011, as a way to use his knowledge helping others. When the sheriff’s offices have particularly nasty areas that need to be searched, they often ask the search and rescue group’s coordinators to send Ray out by name. Additionally, Ray and his search dog “Leroy”, a Pudelpointer, were the 2016 K9 and Handler of the Year for one of the largest groups in the area.
Tim Backus was born in Africa and spent his early years growing up overseas in countries such as Guam, Philippines, and Japan. He has hunted recreationally since his teen years and professionally for well over 10 years Tim also guides big game hunts all around the United States. Tim spends most summers home in West Texas and his winters guiding hunts in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Idaho, Virginia, and West Virginia.
While on his journey to win Alone, Tim leaves behind his children, their spouses and his grandchildren Lily and Edan in Lubbock, Texas. He also leaves his mother and father in Chesapeake, VA. Tim is currently working on a book about his incredible hunting and camping experiences.
Ancestral Skills Teacher
Grass Valley, CA
Woniya Thibeault grew up in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California. Spending a lot of time hiking these mountains, Woniya developed a deep love for and curiosity about the natural world. Learning ancestral skills was the perfect way to combine her naturalist expertise with her love of creating her life’s needs from the wild with her own two hands.
She has done many things in her life working as a naturalist, an off-grid farmer, a skills teacher, and more while living in many different environments. Her passion for learning and teaching ancestral skills like fiber arts, hide tanning, clothing making, basketry, and wild foods harvest and preparation has been a constant throughout her adult life. Woniya currently teaches classes and workshops through her business, Buckskin Revolution and is near the completion of her first book on making buckskin clothing. Woniya believes the land misses having humans live closely with it and comes to the Alone experience both to test her skills and knowledge and to demonstrate what is possible when one enters a survival situation from a place of respect, connection, and interdependence.